Anamorphosée

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Anamorphosée
Anamorphosee.jpg
Studio album by Mylène Farmer
Released 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.[3]

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. Dissatisfied with the album's early work with Dahlgreen, Farmer reconnected with Boutonnat, and it quickly became his 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.[4]

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.[5]

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).[4][6]

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[7]

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).[8] 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).[9] "It is a shift announced by the new disc" (La Dernière Heure).[10] With this album, "Farmer excels but against the current".[11] "The tonic music have a hope in its infancy, words less drawn by the taste of nothing" (Télérama).[12] "Anamorphosée has filled all hopes" (Vamp Canada).[13] "The production is, as always, impeccable" (Platine).[14]

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",[15] 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.

Chart performances[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.[16] The album was also charted for four weeks on the Top Mid'Price, from March 20 to April 10, 2005 (with 5,499 copies sold), because it was re-released in a digipack version by Polydor.[17] The album was certified Double platinum disc by the SNEP in 1996,[18] then diamond in 2009.[19]

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.[20]

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.[21]

Singles[edit]

Year Title Date of release Physical sales
(France)
Certification Peak position
FR BE (WA) FR BE (WA) SWI
1995 "XXL" September 19, 1995 150,000 1 3 11
"L'Instant X" December 12, 1995 220,000 6 12
1996 "California" March 26, 1996 110,000 7 22
"Comme j'ai mal" June 1, 1996 90,000 11 21
"Rêver" November 16, 1996 110,000 7 12

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)

Track listing[edit]

# Title Length Performance(s) on tour(s) TV performance(s) Comment[22]
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.

Credits[edit]

  • Text: Mylène Farmer
  • Music: Laurent Boutonnat
    • Except "Tomber 7 fois...": text and music by Mylène Farmer
  • Guitar: Jeff Dahlgren
  • Bass: Abraham Laboriel
  • Drums: Denny Fongheiser
  • Keyboard: Laurent Boutonnat
  • Flute: Pol Ramirez Del Piu
  • Background vocals on "L'Instant X" and "Comme j'ai mal": Kate Markowitz
  • Chorus on "Tomber 7 fois...": Chorale du Lycée Français de Los Angeles
  • Sound: Shelly Yakus, Thierry Rogen, Chad Munsey
  • Mixed by Bertrand Châtenet
    • Except "Laisse le vent emporter tout", by Thierry Rogen
  • Assistants: Mike Scotella, Ken Villeneuve, Larry Schalit
  • Programmation: Fred Attal
  • Recorded at A&M Studios and Record One, Los Angeles
  • Mixed at Record One and Record Plant
  • Masterised by André Perriat ("Top Master", Paris) and Bernie Grundman ("Bernie Grundman Mastering", Hollywood)
  • Management: Thierry Suc
  • Executive production: Paul van Parys for Toutankhamon SA
  • Editions: Requiem Publishing
  • Photos: Herb Ritts / Visages
  • Cover design: Henry Neu for Com'N.B
  • Produced by Laurent Boutonnat

Certifications and sales[edit]

Country Certification Date Sales certified Physical sales
France Diamond[19] 29 October 2009 500,000 1,300,000

Charts[edit]

Chart successions[edit]

Preceded by
Live à Paris by Céline Dion
French SNEP number-one album
January 18, 1997 – January 25, 1997 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
Romanza by Andrea Bocelli

References[edit]

  1. ^ France Soir, September 19, 1995, "Mylène Farmer, Anamorphosée", Richard Gianorio Devant-soi.com (Retrieved March 24, 2008)
  2. ^ Télé 7 Jours, No. 1849, "Mylène Farmer : son étrange confession", Fabrice Guillermet Devant-soi.com (Retrieved March 24, 2008)
  3. ^ Anamorphosée Mylenefarmeriscalled.net (Retrieved March 24, 2008)
  4. ^ a b Le Dictionnaire des Chansons de Mylène Farmer, Benoît Cachin, 2006, Tournon Ed., p. 59-61
  5. ^ France Soir, August 28, 1995, "Mylène : retour à la chanson" Devant-soi.com (Retrieved March 24, 2008)
  6. ^ L'Intégrale Mylene Farmer, Erwan Chuberre, 2007, City Ed., p. 37-38 (ISBN 978-2-35288-108-7)
  7. ^ Allmusic review
  8. ^ Dernière Nouvelles d'Alsace, May 29, 1995 Devant-soi.com (Retrieved March 24, 2008)
  9. ^ Double Face, November 1, 1995 Devant-soi.com (Retrieved March 24, 2008)
  10. ^ La Dernière Heure, July 16, 1995, "Mylène en XXL", Eddy Przybylski Devant-soi.com (Retrieved March 24, 2008)
  11. ^ Le Quotidien, December 29, 1995 Devant-soi.com (Retrieved March 24, 2008)
  12. ^ Télérama, "La Romance de Renarde", Anne-Marie Paquotte Devant-soi.com (Retrieved March 24, 2008)
  13. ^ Vamp Canada, 1995, "Mylène Farmer en XXL" Devant-soi.com (Retrieved March 24, 2008)
  14. ^ Platine, December 1995
  15. ^ Le Monde, October 21, 1995, S.D. Devant-soi.com (Retrieved March 24, 2008)
  16. ^ a b Anamorphosée, French Albums Chart Lescharts.com (Retrieved February 1, 2008)
  17. ^ Anamorphosée Mylene.net (Retrieved March 25, 2008)
  18. ^ Mylène Farmer certifications Chartsinfrance.net (Retrieved February 1, 2008)
  19. ^ a b "Diamond albums in France in 2009" (in French). Disqueenfrance. Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  20. ^ a b Anamorphosée, Belgian (Wallonia) Albums Chart Ultratop.be (Retrieved February 1, 2008)
  21. ^ a b Anamorphosée, Swiss Albums Chart Hitparade.ch (Retrieved February 1, 2008)
  22. ^ Le Dictionnaire des Chansons de Mylène Farmer, Benoît Cachin, 2006, Tournon Ed., p. 99,100,103,149,150,174,175,253,261,262
  23. ^ "1995 Belgian Albums Chart" (in French). ultratop. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  24. ^ "1995 French Albums Chart" (in French). Snep. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  25. ^ "1996 Belgian Albums Chart" (in French). ultratop. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  26. ^ "1996 French Albums Chart" (in French). Snep. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  27. ^ "1997 Belgian Albums Chart" (in French). ultratop. Retrieved 22 May 2010.