Anamorphosée

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Anamorphosée
Anamorphosee.jpg
Studio album by Mylène Farmer
Released October 17, 1995
Recorded Los Angeles, California
Genre Pop, rock
Length 57:47
Label Polydor
Producer Laurent Boutonnat
Mylène Farmer chronology
Dance Remixes
(1992)
Anamorphosée
(1995)
Live à Bercy
(1997)
Singles from Anamorphosée
  1. "XXL"
    Released: September 19, 1995
  2. "L'Instant X"
    Released: December 12, 1995
  3. "California"
    Released: March 26, 1996
  4. "Comme j'ai mal"
    Released: June 1, 1996
  5. "Rêver"
    Released: November 16, 1996

Anamorphosée is the fourth studio album by Mylène Farmer, released on October 17, 1995. Led by the number-one single "XXL", the album was something of a departure from her previous work. Although it received mixed reviews from critics, the album was very successful, peaking at no.1 and staying on the French album chart for almost two years.

Background and writing[edit]

The movie Giorgino, produced by Laurent Boutonnat and in which Mylène Farmer starred, was both a critical and financial failure. Released on October 5, 1994, it was seen by barely 25,000 spectators in the first week and was the first setback in Farmer's career. As a result, the musical duo separated on bad terms, Boutonnat making Farmer responsible for this failure. The singer decided to go to Los Angeles, California,[1] where she fell into anonymity and changed hairstyle (she became blond with long hair). There she composed a new album, drawing inspiration from a Sogyal Rinpoche's book, Le Livre tibétain de la Vie et de la Mort. The singer's perception of life changed through her travels, and she confided in an interview that she was no longer afraid of death; so, she was more optimistic.[2] Finally, she called Boutonnat who joined her in Los Angeles for the recording.

Jeff Dahlgren, who performed the role of Giorgio Volli in Giorgino, had a great influence in the early composition of this album and was part of the musical team involved in preparing it. Boutonnat later came and the three finished the project. The album was recorded in the A&M studios and Record One in Los Angeles, and Boutonnat, who oversaw the production, chose the best American musicians at the time. Bertrand Châtenet, who had previously worked with Vanessa Paradis, was selected to mix the album.[3]

Lyrics and music[edit]

The album's title, "Anamorphosée" is a neologism in French-language (the noun exists, but not the past participle). The Hachette dictionary defines "anamorphose" as an "image of an object, distorted by certain optical devices (cylindrical mirrors, for example)." That word thus refers to the new music style of the singer.[4]

This album represents a departure from her previous work, in that the music is much more rock oriented. Five of the twelve tracks are ballads with melancholy text punctuated by American R&B-inspired arrangements. The lyrics are easier to understand and less cryptic than her previous albums. Although some themes dear to the artist are addressed in Anamorphosée, sadness and pain are much less present in this album which is more about the spirituality (Buddhism).[3][5]

For the first time, Farmer wrote a song completely by herself, "Tomber 7 fois..."

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[6]

The album was sometimes well received in media that have mainly noted the change in musical style. For example: "Farmer has moved away from the images that she stuck to the skin just to keep a sensuality remained intact" (Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace).[7] The singer "has abandoned her eternal pessimism: the Mylène of 2000 is arrived, turned towards humanity with a big H and spirituality, via Lao Tzeu" (Double Face).[8] "It is a shift announced by the new disc" (La Dernière Heure).[9] With this album, "Farmer excels but against the current".[10] "The tonic music have a hope in its infancy, words less drawn by the taste of nothing" (Télérama).[11] "Anamorphosée has filled all hopes" (Vamp Canada).[12] "The production is, as always, impeccable" (Platine).[13]

However, some musical critics were very virulent to this album. For example, Le Monde stated that "the diversion of melodies from the band Nirvana makes hesitate between indignation and open laughs",[14] while L'Evènement du jeudi concluded its article saying it should better "to avoid" this album.

A Victoire de la Musique was awarded to this album, which was regarded as the French album the most exported in 1996.

Commercial performance[edit]

The album went straight to #2 on French Album Chart on October 15, 1995, behind Céline Dion's D'eux. It stayed at this place on the following chart edition, before dropping. However, it re-reached the #2 in its 13th week and for four other non-consecutive weeks. Surprisingly, the album became number one for two weeks on January 18 and 25, 1997, about one year and a half after its release. It remained on the Top ten for 34 weeks and on the chart (Top 50) for a total of 77 weeks.[15] The album was also charted for four weeks on the Top Mid'Price, from March 20 to April 10, 2005, because it was re-released in a digipack version by Polydor. The album was certified Double platinum disc by the SNEP in 1996,[16] then diamond in 2009.[17]

In Belgium Wallonia, the album was charted for 71 weeks, from November 4, 1995 to April 12, 1997. It peaked at number two in its three first weeks, but was unable to reach number one (the chart was topped then by Céline Dion's D'eux); it appeared for 25 weeks in the top ten.[18]

In Switzerland, the album entered the chart at #25, its highest position, on November 12, 1995, before dropping. It left the chart after its sixth week.[19]

Track listing[edit]

# Title Length Performance(s) on tour(s) TV performance(s) Comment[20]
1 "California" 4:59 *1996 Bercy
*Mylenium Tour
*Avant que l'ombre... à Bercy
*En tournée
* Les Années tube (May 18, 1996, TF1) See main article "California"
2 "Vertige" 5:29 1996 Bercy No "Vertige" is the most rock song of the album. While referring to the brevity of life in the couplets, the singer discusses spirituality in the refrains which enables her to rise mentally.
3 "Mylène s'en fout" 4:31 1996 Bercy No Farmer addresses a man who likes luxury but she confesses that she doesn't appreciate that. She prefers the simplicity, spirituality and qualities from the heart. In the refrain, the singer speaks about herself using her first name.
4 "L'Instant X" 4:46 *1996 Bercy
*En tournée
* Le Bêtisier du samedi soir (January 13, 1996, France 2)
* Top aux Carpentier (March 9, 1996, TF1)
See main article "L'Instant X"
5 "Eaunanisme" 5:08 No No The title is composed of the words "eau ("water") and "onanisme" ("onanism") in French-language. The song has several possible interpretations, but appears to refer to both masturbation and the personification of the water.

The song begins with the sound of water.

6 "Et Tournoie..." 4:29 1996 Bercy No On an upbeat music, Farmer advises someone to abandon despair and to be more optimistic. However, she is realistic towards the difficulties of life.
7 "XXL" 4:26 *1996 Bercy
*Avant que l'ombre... à Bercy (tour)
*En tournée
*Timeless 2013
No See main article "XXL"
8 "Rêver" 5:22 *1996 Bercy
*Mylenium Tour
*2006 tour
*En tournée
*Timeless 2013
* Les Enfants de la guerre (November 27, 1996, TF1)
* NRJ Music Awards (January 10, 2003, TF1)
See main article "Rêver"
9 "Alice" 5:21 1996 Bercy No See main article "Alice"
10 "Comme j'ai mal" 3:53 *1996 Bercy
*Timeless 2013
* Tip Top (October 24, 1996, TF1) See main article "Comme j'ai mal"
11 "Tomber 7 fois..." 4:50 1996 Bercy No The song advocates the combative towards the problems of life : we should not be lukewarm in life, and recover after an ordeal. Accompanied by the French School Choir of Los Angeles, the song was used for a TV advert in the United States.
12 "Laisse le vent emporter tout" 4:00 *1996 Bercy
*En tournée
No This song is the more acoustic of the album and puts forward Farmer's voice. Apparently inspired by an 1866 poem by Paul Verlaine ("Chanson d'automne", Poèmes saturniens), the song evokes a loved one who she lets go away as this one seems to no longer love her. However, in the refrain, she leaves it to the wind, which is likely to erase the pain over time.

Personnel[edit]

  • Fred Attal – programming
  • Laurent Boutonnat – arranger, clavier, keyboards, producer
  • Bertrand Chatnet – mixing
  • Jeff Dahlgren – guitar
  • Pol Ramirez del Piu – flute
  • Mylène Farmer – vocals
  • Denny Fongheiser – drums
  • Bernie Grundman – mastering
  • Abraham Laboriel, Sr. – bass
  • Kate Markowitz – background vocals
  • Chad Munsey – engineer, sound recording
  • Henry Neu – design
  • André Perriat – mastering
  • Herb Ritts – photography
  • Thierry Rogen – engineer, mixing, sound recording
  • Larry Schalit – assistant, mixing
  • Mike Scotella – assistant, mixing
  • Paul Van Parys – executive producer
  • Ken Villeneuve – assistant, mixing
  • Shelly Yakus – engineer, sound recording

Charts[edit]

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
France (SNEP)[30] Diamond 1,363,300[31][32][33]
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[34] Gold 25,000^
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[35] Platinum 1,000,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Formats[edit]

  • CD – Crystal case
  • CD – Digipack
  • Casket – Format : 12" – Numbered – Limited edition (5,000)
  • Promotional casket – Format : 12"
  • 12"
  • Cassette
  • CD – Japan1
  • CD – Taïwan

1 + "Alice" (new mix), "XXL" (extra large remix)

References[edit]

  1. ^ France Soir, September 19, 1995, "Mylène Farmer, Anamorphosée", Richard Gianorio Devant-soi.com[permanent dead link] (Retrieved March 24, 2008)
  2. ^ Télé 7 Jours, No. 1849, "Mylène Farmer : son étrange confession", Fabrice Guillermet Devant-soi.com[permanent dead link] (Retrieved March 24, 2008)
  3. ^ a b Le Dictionnaire des Chansons de Mylène Farmer, Benoît Cachin, 2006, Tournon Ed., p. 59-61
  4. ^ France Soir, August 28, 1995, "Mylène : retour à la chanson" Devant-soi.com[permanent dead link] (Retrieved March 24, 2008)
  5. ^ L'Intégrale Mylene Farmer, Erwan Chuberre, 2007, City Ed., p. 37-38 (ISBN 978-2-35288-108-7)
  6. ^ AllMusic review
  7. ^ Dernière Nouvelles d'Alsace, May 29, 1995 Devant-soi.com[permanent dead link] (Retrieved March 24, 2008)
  8. ^ Double Face, November 1, 1995 Devant-soi.com[permanent dead link] (Retrieved March 24, 2008)
  9. ^ La Dernière Heure, July 16, 1995, "Mylène en XXL", Eddy Przybylski Devant-soi.com[permanent dead link] (Retrieved March 24, 2008)
  10. ^ Le Quotidien, December 29, 1995 Devant-soi.com[permanent dead link] (Retrieved March 24, 2008)
  11. ^ Télérama, "La Romance de Renarde", Anne-Marie Paquotte Devant-soi.com[permanent dead link] (Retrieved March 24, 2008)
  12. ^ Vamp Canada, 1995, "Mylène Farmer en XXL" Devant-soi.com[permanent dead link] (Retrieved March 24, 2008)
  13. ^ Platine, December 1995
  14. ^ Le Monde, October 21, 1995, S.D. Devant-soi.com[permanent dead link] (Retrieved March 24, 2008)
  15. ^ Anamorphosée, French Albums Chart Lescharts.com (Retrieved February 1, 2008)
  16. ^ Mylène Farmer certifications Chartsinfrance.net[permanent dead link] (Retrieved February 1, 2008)
  17. ^ "Diamond albums in France in 2009" (in French). Disqueenfrance. Retrieved 3 February 2010. [permanent dead link]
  18. ^ Anamorphosée, Belgian (Wallonia) Albums Chart Ultratop.be (Retrieved February 1, 2008)
  19. ^ Anamorphosée, Swiss Albums Chart Hitparade.ch (Retrieved February 1, 2008)
  20. ^ Le Dictionnaire des Chansons de Mylène Farmer, Benoît Cachin, 2006, Tournon Ed., p. 99,100,103,149,150,174,175,253,261,262
  21. ^ "Mylène Farmer – Anamorphosée" (in French). Ultratop & Hung Medien. Archived from the original on 29 April 2016. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  22. ^ "Hits of the World". Billboard. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  23. ^ "Mylène Farmer – Anamorphosée (Album)" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  24. ^ "Mylène Farmer – Anamorphosée". Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  25. ^ "Rapports annueles 1995" (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  26. ^ "Rapports annueles 1995 – albums francophones" (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  27. ^ "Classement Albums – année 1995" (in French). SNEP. Archived from the original on 11 December 2013. Retrieved 28 17 June 2016.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  28. ^ "Classement Albums – année 1996" (in French). SNEP. Archived from the original on 11 December 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 
  29. ^ "Rapports annueles 1997" (in French). Ultratop. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  30. ^ "French album certifications – Mylène Farmer – Anamorphosée" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 
  31. ^ "Les Meilleures Ventes de CD / Albums "Tout Temps"" (in French). InfoDisc. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  32. ^ Jonathan Hamard (3 January 2016). "Mylène Farmer : quel est son album le mieux vendu ?" (in French). Webedia. Retrieved 17 June 2016. 
  33. ^ "France best selling albums ever: Anamorphosée by Mylène Farmer (1995)". ChartMasters. 20 February 2016. Retrieved 3 July 2016. 
  34. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Farmer; 'Anamorphosee')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. 
  35. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 1997". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.