Will Stromae be the artist of the year 2022 ? There is little doubt about that!
The man who was the honorary president of the Victoires de la musique 2022 last February is requesting a comeback, nine years after his last album and after many years of absence from the music scene. On 4 March, ‘Multitude’, the third studio album by the 37-year-old Belgian artist, was released. And clearly, this album has everything it takes to be the album of the year.
An artist who felt the need to disappear
In 2013, Stromae sang “Papaoutai”. But for several years, the whole world had been asking “Stromae, where are you? Apart from a few collaborations with Orelsan and Coldplay in particular, and apart from a comeback with an unreleased project with his collective Mosaert, we had seen little of the great Belgian singer since 2015. And for good reason: Stromae went through a bad period and felt the need to take some distance on all fronts.
At the height of his popularity in the mid-2010s, Stromae established himself as a king of bluffing, on a par (or nearly so) with poker champions Tom Dwan, Phil Ivey and Isaac Haxton, the masters of the game. Except that, where poker kings normally and temporarily rely on bluffing to crush their opponents, both online and in physical tournaments, Stromae has been bluffing for far too long to hide his malaise from the world. He made us believe that everything was fine when in fact he was going through hell (we’ll request it) behind the scenes.
Several years after the fact, we learned that the artist was at his worst while he was in the middle of a tour and applauded in the four corners of the world. This was due to physical and moral exhaustion, accentuated by the side effects of a medical treatment taken while travelling for his concerts. Hence the need to finally take a (very) long break, away from showbiz and away from the fans. But in the year 2022, the break is over and Stromae is determined to stay in the spotlight, at least for a while!
Two singles that made you want to discover more
In recent months, before presenting “Multitude” to the world, Stromae has released two singles: “Santé”, released in October 2021, and “L’enfer”, released last January and marked by a memorable performance on TF1’s 8 o’clock news. The first track celebrates “those who don’t celebrate” with easy-to-remember (and always well-written) lyrics and an upbeat tune that makes you want to dance. In fact, the Belgian artist choreographed a dance to this song for his tour! The second track evokes the dark thoughts that the singer may have had and tries to show that they are part of him and that everyone must accept that he is not always at his best.
Two very strong and powerful tracks that made you want to discover the rest of the album. Stromae took his time in this respect, as he only unveiled the other ten tracks of this famous album at the beginning of March! But it was worth it.
An album that comes close to perfection
As expected, Stromae hits hard with his new album. Throughout his twelve songs, the artist evokes themes that will speak to most people: mental health, parenthood, low morale, relationships, ambition, dreams, but also courage and illness in the incredible opening track, “Invaincu”… Subjects that are commonplace but that speak to everyone.
Those who like to criticize will not fail to mention the fact that Stromae talks several times about his visits to the toilet in this album. But it would be a sign of bad faith to dwell on these little phrases: the whole album is very complete and perfectly written. From ‘Fils de joue’ to ‘Pas vraiment’, via ‘La solassitude’ and ‘Déclaration’, Stromae combines well thought-out lyrics and well-crafted rhythms.
Not forgetting the duo of final songs, “Mauvaise journée” and “Bonne journée”, which cannot be separated and which should delight both optimists and pessimists… In short, you will have understood, this new Stromae album should make everyone agree !