Myléne Farmer’s ‘Désobéissance’ Is One Of The Best Albums Of 2018
Cher wasn’t the only diva of a certain vintage to release a flawless LP last week. France’s undisputed Queen of Pop, the one and only Mylène Farmer, also blessed us with a collection of new tunes. And Désobéissance is easily her best album since 2010’s Bleu Noir. A staggeringly ambitious body of work that incorporates dreamy synth-pop, experimental electro, a spoken-word message, pretty ballads and (if I’m not mistaken) a tribute to buttocks. At 57, the pop icon is bolder, braver and better than ever.
The singles are a perfect starting point. “Rolling Stone” and “N’oublie pas,” a duet with the brilliant LP, topped the charts in France with good reason. The former finds Mylène is pure-pop mode, serving breathy vocals and instantly catchy “la la las” over Feder’s house beats. Mike Del Rio (one half of pop duo POWERS) takes the reigns for “N’oublie pas” and it stands out as one of the album’s few mid-tempo moments. The French hitmaker’s voice combines effortlessly with LP’s and that chorus is truly a thing of beauty.
As great as those songs are, my favorites are current single “Sentimentale” and the stunning title-track. Both throw it back to the ’80s with their serene synths and soaring choruses. They are so chic and so French and so instantly addicting regardless of the language barrier. “Désobéissance,” in particular, evokes the simultaneous detachment and defiance of Mylène’s signature song, “Libertine.” Another must-hear track is the atmospheric “Des larmes,” which casts a spell from the first beat.
If you’re looking for something a little more outrageous, “Histoires de fesses” chronicles a certain body part, while “Get Up Girl” is a thoroughly demented concoction. I’m obsessed with the spacey electronic production and the English-language refrain of “I find life so sexy.” Same! There’s more to this album than bangers, however. Mylène reads a message directly to fans on “Au lecteur,” wades into gorgeous balladry on album-closer “Retenir l’eau” and explores a soft and pretty mid-tempo soundscape on the contemplative “Parler d’avenir.” Press play and drift off into the living legend’s weird and world below.