Luminescence is the third international studio album by Anggun. The French-language version was released in France on 22 February 2005, while English-language version, also with the same title, was first released in Italy on 18 May 2005. The album was later repackaged in August 2006 as Luminescence: Special Edition with three brand new songs. Following her departure from Columbia Records in 2003, Anggun signed a recording contract with Heben Music. The album features production by several musicians, including Jean-Pierre Taïeb, Frédéric Jaffré and Niels Brinck. Anggun co-wrote music and lyrics of the entire album, except two tracks on the French version.
Luminescence became Anggun's comeback album in France, selling over 121,000 copies there. In Indonesia, the album was certified quadruple platinum for exceeding sales of over 450,000 copies as of 2015. With the album, Anggun expanded her popularity to Eastern Europe. Luminescence was certified gold in Russia, while the album's singles accumulatively received more than 79,000 plays on Russian radio according to TopHit.ru.Luminescence received Platinum Export Award for its sales outside France. The album spawned singles "Être une femme", "Cesse la pluie", "Juste avant toi" and "Garde-moi" (featuring David Hallyday) from the French version, as well as "Undress Me", "In Your Mind", "Saviour", "I'll Be Alright" and "A Crime" from the English version.
In 2001, Anggun had already begun working on the follow-up of her second international studio album, Chrysalis (2000). She collaborated with Swedish musician Jörgen Elofsson and Canadian rock singer Bryan Adams, whom she first met while performing at the 2000 Christmas concert in Vatican. One of the songs was "Walking Away" registered to Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI). However, the writing session for her solo album was shelved, and Anggun started another recording session with Danish producers Niels Brinck and Jesper Winge Leisner for the soundtrack album of Susanne Bier's film Open Hearts (2002). Following the release of the soundtrack album, Anggun announced her departure from Columbia Records due to the company's structural change after its parent label Sony Music Entertainment merger with BMG Music.
In 2004, Anggun signed a record deal with Heben Music, an independent label in France. She restarted the production of her third international studio album with several producers, including Jean-Pierre Taieb and Frederic Jaffre as well as Niels Brinck. Anggun, who composes mainly in English, enlisted the help from several well-known French songwriters, such as Jean Fauque, Lionel Florence, Tété and Evelyn Kral to adapt her English songs into French. Both versions of Luminescence, French and English, shared the same title, a departure from her previous efforts.
Unlike her previous two studio albums, most of tracks on Luminescence were originally written in English before being adapted to French. Each version of Luminescence has one original track which was not translated to another language—"Go" is only included on the English version, while "Un de toi" is only available on the French version. In 2006, both English and French version of Luminescence were re-released with three additional tracks, "I'll Be Alright" ("Juste avant toi"), "A Crime" ("Garde Moi") and "Waiting" ("Quelgu'un").
The acoustic version of "Human" was used as the soundtrack for the film Le bon, la brute et les zombies (The Good, the Bad, and the Zombies). "Saviour" ("Cesse la pluie") served as the soundtrack for the U.S. box office number-one film Transporter 2.