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Stromae|Racine carrée

Racine carrée

Stromae

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After getting a sizable hit with "Alors on Dance" from his 2010 debut, Stromae chose not to fret and took three full years to deliver his sophomore album. Released in the fall of 2013, Racine Carrée went on to become one of the biggest records of the season in Europe, topping the French, Belgian, Dutch, Italian, and Swiss charts, helped by a string of smash singles such as "Ta Fête," "Papaoutai," "Formidable," and "Tous les Mêmes." At first look, Stromae's pumping Euro-disco with a dash of hip-hop and world music may seem fairly indistinguishable from offerings by many others artists on the Continent. As incongruous as it sounds, what sets Stromae apart from his peers are actually his lyrics -- something that you do not hear too often (read: never) when discussing dance-oriented entertainers. Indeed, many would be bewildered upon hearing that Belgian and French critics were quick to point out Jacques Brel as a major influence, a statement that could only sound positively ludicrous or downright heretical to non-Francophone ears. And yet, both Stromae's diction and his scathing attack on prejudice and small-mindedness (updated to an urban, racially mixed society plagued with issues of identity, rather than the petite bourgeoisie) establish a clear link to the legendary songwriter, even if Stromae is more humorous than cruel and more compassionate than misanthropic. The Belgian-Rwandan young prodigy is at heart much closer to a singer/songwriter than to an EDM producer and DJ, which turns Racine Carrée into a very unusual kind of dancefloor filler. After all, how many albums designed for clubs feature songs that deal with subjects such as absent fathers, cigarettes and cancer, AIDS, racism, sexism, or social isolation created by the Internet? At the same time, Stromae's dual nature is also a two-edged sword: while their throbbing pulse can turn these tracks into hits and present his material to a bigger audience, listening to track after track being insistently punctured with seemingly the same grating horn-sounding synth can eventually become infuriating. In this context, excursions outside of the disco like the homage to Cesária Evora (another unexpected reference) "Ave Cesária," the sweet African cadence of "Moules Frites," or the slower grooves of "Formidable" and "Quand C'est?" function as much-needed pit stops. Rewarded with vast commercial and critical success, Racine Carrée will be remembered as Stromae's breakthrough album and a major validation of his considerable songwriting talents. Stromae's challenge from now on will be how to manage the seemingly contradictory tendencies inherent to his vision.
© Mariano Prunes /TiVo

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Racine carrée

Stromae

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1
Ta fête
00:02:55

Stromae, Producer, Interprète Vocal, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Shameboy, Guitar, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Lionel Capouillez, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2013 Mosaert Label, under exclusive license to B1M1 Recordings, Lda.

2
Papaoutai
00:03:52

Rachid Mir, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Stromae, Arranger, Percussion, Interprète Vocal, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Pieter de Wagter, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aron Ottignon, Arranger, Piano, Work Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Lionel Capoulliez, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Don "DJ Snake", Producer, Percussion, Additional Producer, AssociatedPerformer - Papa Dizzy, Arranger, Guitar, Work Arranger, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2013 Mosaert Label, under exclusive license to B1M1 Recordings, Lda.

3
bâtard
00:03:28

Stromae, Producer, Interprète Vocal, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Thomas Azier, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Noumoukounda Cissoko, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Lionel Capouillez, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2013 Mosaert Label, under exclusive license to B1M1 Recordings, Lda.

4
ave cesaria
00:04:09

António Santos, Arranger, Piano, Background Vocalist, Work Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Vincent Peirani, Accordion, AssociatedPerformer - Stromae, Producer, Arranger, Interprète Vocal, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Orelsan, Author - Lionel Capouillez, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Schérazade, Arranger, Background Vocalist, Work Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Mauricio Delgados, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2013 Mosaert Label, under exclusive license to B1M1 Recordings, Lda.

5
Tous les mêmes
00:03:30

Stromae, Producer, Interprète Vocal, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Bart Maris, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Lionel Capouillez, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2013 Mosaert Label, under exclusive license to B1M1 Recordings, Lda.

6
Formidable Explicit
00:03:33

Stromae, Producer, Arranger, Interprète Vocal, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Lionel Capouillez, Mixer, Arranger, Work Arranger, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2013 Mosaert Label, under exclusive license to B1M1 Recordings, Lda.

7
moules frites
00:02:38

Stromae, Producer, Interprète Vocal, Synthesizer Programming, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Lionel Capouillez, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Guillaume Huguet, Producer, Additional Producer

℗ 2013 Mosaert Label, under exclusive license to B1M1 Recordings, Lda.

8
carmen
00:03:08

Stromae, Producer, Interprète Vocal, Synthesizer Programming, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Orelsan, Author - Lionel Capouillez, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2013 Mosaert Label, under exclusive license to B1M1 Recordings, Lda.

9
humain à l'eau
00:03:59

Stromae, Producer, Interprète Vocal, Synthesizer Programming, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Lionel Capouillez, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2013 Mosaert Label, under exclusive license to B1M1 Recordings, Lda.

10
quand c'est ?
00:03:00

Stromae, Producer, Interprète Vocal, Synthesizer Programming, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Lionel Capouillez, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2013 Mosaert Label, under exclusive license to B1M1 Recordings, Lda.

11
sommeil
00:03:38

Stromae, Producer, Interprète Vocal, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Tibass Kazematik, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Lionel Capouillez, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2013 Mosaert Label, under exclusive license to B1M1 Recordings, Lda.

12
merci
00:03:49

Stromae, Producer, Arranger, Interprète Vocal, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Thomas Azier, Arranger, Piano, Work Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Lionel Capouillez, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Aron Ottignon, Arranger, Piano, Work Arranger, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2013 Mosaert Label, under exclusive license to B1M1 Recordings, Lda.

13
avf
00:03:45

Stromae, Producer, Interprète Vocal, Synthesizer Programming, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - ATOM, Producer, Additional Producer - Maître Gims, Author - Orelsan, Author - Lionel Capouillez, Mixer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2013 Mosaert Label, under exclusive license to B1M1 Recordings, Lda.

Album Description

After getting a sizable hit with "Alors on Dance" from his 2010 debut, Stromae chose not to fret and took three full years to deliver his sophomore album. Released in the fall of 2013, Racine Carrée went on to become one of the biggest records of the season in Europe, topping the French, Belgian, Dutch, Italian, and Swiss charts, helped by a string of smash singles such as "Ta Fête," "Papaoutai," "Formidable," and "Tous les Mêmes." At first look, Stromae's pumping Euro-disco with a dash of hip-hop and world music may seem fairly indistinguishable from offerings by many others artists on the Continent. As incongruous as it sounds, what sets Stromae apart from his peers are actually his lyrics -- something that you do not hear too often (read: never) when discussing dance-oriented entertainers. Indeed, many would be bewildered upon hearing that Belgian and French critics were quick to point out Jacques Brel as a major influence, a statement that could only sound positively ludicrous or downright heretical to non-Francophone ears. And yet, both Stromae's diction and his scathing attack on prejudice and small-mindedness (updated to an urban, racially mixed society plagued with issues of identity, rather than the petite bourgeoisie) establish a clear link to the legendary songwriter, even if Stromae is more humorous than cruel and more compassionate than misanthropic. The Belgian-Rwandan young prodigy is at heart much closer to a singer/songwriter than to an EDM producer and DJ, which turns Racine Carrée into a very unusual kind of dancefloor filler. After all, how many albums designed for clubs feature songs that deal with subjects such as absent fathers, cigarettes and cancer, AIDS, racism, sexism, or social isolation created by the Internet? At the same time, Stromae's dual nature is also a two-edged sword: while their throbbing pulse can turn these tracks into hits and present his material to a bigger audience, listening to track after track being insistently punctured with seemingly the same grating horn-sounding synth can eventually become infuriating. In this context, excursions outside of the disco like the homage to Cesária Evora (another unexpected reference) "Ave Cesária," the sweet African cadence of "Moules Frites," or the slower grooves of "Formidable" and "Quand C'est?" function as much-needed pit stops. Rewarded with vast commercial and critical success, Racine Carrée will be remembered as Stromae's breakthrough album and a major validation of his considerable songwriting talents. Stromae's challenge from now on will be how to manage the seemingly contradictory tendencies inherent to his vision.
© Mariano Prunes /TiVo

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