While most media and a section of public opinion have buried him prematurely for years, Renaud constantly returns to center stage. As if to prove he’s still alive, the obnoxious singer makes it a point to continue recording, without worrying about fashion or the opinion of his fans, who are sometimes unkind to him. Maybe to reassure yourself? To prove to himself that he still has some under the hood, and that they are neither “newspaper” nor “butt pushers” that will bite him in the dust. He will decide when to stop, no one else.
And then the person who turns 70 on May 11 and has always been afraid of the passage of time, probably wants to hear again and again that he is still loved, that his audience remains loyal to him. He has little to worry about that way. Even if opinions are divided and some historical fans believe he would be better off writing for other artists rather than playing covers, it’s a safe bet that his new album metic coming out this Friday, May 6, will be another hit.
Renaud is first and foremost a sharp pen, a sense of formula, a mixture of words. But for this return after a little more than two years, the singer preferred to cover the artists he loves. After writing and singing about childhood in Kids and kids firstremembered the Parisian titi that he listened to as a child and teenager.
“I wanted to pay tribute to my masters, those who made me want to sing” explains the singer-songwriter. “And to the songs that rocked my childhood, my adolescence and some more. To be a smuggler who conveys another’s emotion to the greatest number, by taking a little bit of yourself, without to betray.”
Renaud thus visits Moustaki, Ferrat, Reggiani, Bourvil, Trenet, Aufray, Lapointe… and of course Brassens, his mentor to whom he already devoted an album of covers in 1996. Poulbot has been at the forefront of the French scene since his first album in 1975 with his own compositions, he never forgot to mention his influences. In 1980 he took up a whole repertoire of realistic songs for his singing tour with Bobino, and in 1993, in the aftermath of the recordings of Germinalhe published an entire disc in chti’mi to remember his northern ancestry through his mother.
The title of the album, which is also the opening track, fits the singer perfectly. We believe that Renaud fully appropriates the words of metic† Voluntary or not, we think we hear at the end of the last verse “we’ll be able to laugh about it” instead of “we will live to die”† Hard to tell if it’s the intent, or if it’s because of a somewhat approximate pronunciation.
Because it must be said that the singer’s voice is clearly no longer at the level of the 70s-80s-90s. But we were used to that for years. And there we are surprised to find it better than on the two previous opus. The advantage of four packs of cigarettes a day to just one. So much so that his heavy smokey voice, while still hoarse and a little short of breath, has gained in range and reaches the highs more easily.
As for the way of making songs popularized by others his own, Renaud for example innovates in Hollywood by adapting it to the first person. Likewise, one cannot help but think that he must have been jubilant while singing this line of: Chuck’s Lamentation † “The first theft I committed in my life was to pin a priest’s wallet”† A classic of French origin that echoes certain compositions of the singer, such as scavengers or little thief†
Another essential part of the French repertoire, The cherry season† It is the first song that came to his mind when he thought of this album, his 18th in the studio. And it’s no wonder if you remember the singer screaming “The city will bloom again” secure “Society you won’t get me”. A verse that served as the title of the Ogres de Barback disc, which was released six months ago.
For me it is one of the most beautiful in the French repertoire.Renaud
about the song “The time of cherrys”
This oft-heard song is updated here with very folk arrangements. if metic finds an unexpected stone color, or Hollywood leave the original countryside a bit for more melancholy. Overall, Michel Coeurio’s elaborate orchestrations refresh all of these mostly familiar tunes. A second musical youth that accompanies the singer in his quest for eternal rebirth.
Indeed, it has been a recurring theme in the artist’s career for some time now. Who would have thought that his 2017 tour would be sold out? The imagery of the phoenix was well on point: Renaud was once again reborn from its ashes. Just like 20 years ago when it came out a blast in May 2002, the biggest sale of his entire discography.
Even then this disc sounded like an unexpected resurrection. Twenty years later, despite criticism, disappointments, alcohol, divorce, family death, loss of inspiration, sometimes clumsy political views… Renaud is still there in 2022.
And beyond album releases or rare public speaking, Renaud’s personality remains very much in people’s hearts. Proven by the reception given to the book The Return of the Sequel recently published and validated by the artist. This book by designer Marc Large and director Johanna Turpeau was originally conceived as a film that could not be shot due to the health crisis. But it has just seen the light of day in written form. A fiction composed with the characters of Renaud’s songs, which arouses a growing enthusiasm.
As a snub, the singer ironically ends his record with I died who, who says better by Jacques Higelin. So, dead Renaud? It’s not for tomorrow.
Renaud- metic – Release May 6 (Parlophone)
Find all the information on the official website