This month our Hall of Fame is featuring France's most unique female singer of recent years. If you haven't heard her music before, check these out.
Libertine / Tristana (from Cendres de Lune): even at this early stage of her career it was clear that her mixture of dark lyrics and breathy vocals set to cracking electronic beats would be an unique musical blueprint.
Pourvu Quelles Soient Douces / Sans Logique (from Ainsi Soit-Je): by her second studio album the words just got more controversial...and the music more beautiful.
Desenchantee / Je T’Aime Melancolie / Beyond My Control / Que Mon Coeur Lache / Regrets / Pas de Doute (from L’Autre) : the first Mylene album I bought, and she was arguably at the peak of her career at this time. "Desenchantee" is, to many of her fans (including me) her finest moment.
Vertige / California / Comme J’Ai Mal / XXL / Et Tournoie... (from Anamorphosee) : For a long time this was my favourite Mylene album. Influenced by the time she spent living in America, more rock-influenced but still distinctively Ms Farmer.
L’Ame-Stram-Gram / Dessine-Moi Un Mouton / Je Te Rends Ton Amour (from Innamoramento): It took me a long time to warm to this album. Less uptempo and a bit more wistful than previous offerings, but there are still those wonderful sounds. A couple of the tracks are maybe below par IMHO, but the whole of it is still way better than "Avant Que L’Ombre".
L’Histoire d’une Fee, C’est (from Les Mots) : stand-alone single from, bizarrely, the Rugrats in Paris soundtrack! It wouldn’t be the first time she was involved with the movie world, as she starred in Laurent Boutonnat’s "Giorgino" and later lended her voice to the French version of the animated film "Arthur and the Invisibles".
F*** Them All (from Avant Que L’ombre) : Mylene’s most recent album was OK by anyone else’s standards, but disappointing as we’ve come to expect an impeccably high standard from her. What it did prove was that she still had the ability to shock: even if she had to resort to using a well-worn English word to do so.
Other things we like about Mylene:
Her blazing red hair (and its occasional extensions): short, long, straight, curly, spiky.
She’s reclusive and mysterious: never (or extremely rarely) gives interviews, doesn’t even have an official website. Perfect fodder for the rumour machine which never stops.
Creative control: no-one ever tells her to do anything - she’s in control of every aspect of her career.
Her live extravaganzas: Mylene doesn’t just do a live show, it’s an event. Dance routines, costume changes and excellent musical backing from some of the best musicians in the business. Check out the "Live A Bercy" DVD which to me is one of the best concert DVDs I’ve ever seen.