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Angèle - Nonante-Cinq Music Album Reviews

Angèle - Nonante-Cinq Music Album Reviews
The Belgian singer’s second album explores her gift for imbuing joyful, self-possessed dance pop with bittersweet emotion.

Angèle was already one of the biggest Francophone pop stars, and then she made a song with Dua Lipa. First a bonus track on the deluxe edition of Future Nostalgia, then released as a single several months later, “Fever”—featuring Angèle—did more than bring the 26-year old Belgian singer-songwriter into the international spotlight; it encapsulated the emotional breadth possible within nu-disco. Dua Lipa’s voice dominates the track, delivering the first verse and chorus with confidence; this is her song. But the climax comes when the tropical house beat drops and Angèle whisper-sings the second verse in French. Her airy, sensitive voice provides a brief but necessary counterpoint to Dua Lipa’s boldness, driving home the anxiety-ridden love song.

This is Angèle’s superpower: imbuing the most self-possessed and otherwise joyful dance tracks with a bittersweet mood seemingly inherent to the timbre of her voice. Her second album, Nonante-Cinq, abandons some of the more superficial pop trappings of her debut, 2018’s Brol, in favor of melancholy, weaving heartbreak, nostalgia, and apprehension into house-inspired dance tracks and carefully produced piano ballads. The album oscillates between effervescent synth-pop and theatrical anguish, all with a singular emotional thread: Love hurts.

Lead single “Bruxelles je t’aime” is Angèle at her lightest and most sentimental, declaring her love for her hometown (Brussels, Belgium) atop a Daft Punk-esque disco-pop beat. But more often, she’s inconsolable. Closer “Mauvais rêves” is a nightmarish lullaby of dissonant string arrangements and ghostly synth lines, reminiscent of the grand production on Angel Olsen’s All Mirrors. And while the album has fun moments, there’s no triumphant “moving on from a breakup” anthem. Instead, there’s “Solo,” a minor-key Italo-disco cut whose driving synth line accompanies Angèle as she sings about giving up on love entirely.

“Solo” finds a perfect balance between danceable and cry-worthy, something Angèle came close to but never quite found on Brol. Whereas the singles off her debut felt buoyant, even optimistic, Nonante-Cinq’s catchiest moments pack new intensity. “Démons,” featuring Belgian-Congolese rapper Damso, sounds like Angèle mimicking something off Travis Scott’s Astroworld, with spooky, kaleidoscopic synths atop hard-hitting trap snares. Even if you don’t know a lick of French, you might find yourself pretend-singing along to “Comment faire pour tuer mes démons?” (“How do I kill my demons?”).

But she doesn’t always find that balance. “On s’habitue” and “Tempête” fall to either side of the spectrum, the former placid and uneventful, the latter melodramatic, like many of the deeper cuts from her debut. The weakest songs are as shallow lyrically as melodically, usually because Angèle is trying too hard to be either fun or dramatic, neglecting the complexity that lies between. If her emotional nuance can interrupt Dua Lipa, surely she can bridge the gap in her own music. Nonante-Cinq isn’t an improvement simply because it’s sad, but because Angèle is seeking a depth and respite that feels like hers alone.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Angèle - Nonante-Cinq Music Album Reviews Angèle - Nonante-Cinq Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Friday, January 14, 2022 Rating: 5

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