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Music: our ten favorite albums of 2021

You won’t find ABBA, Adele, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, or even Billie Eilish in this selection. None of these planetary pop stars has managed a sufficiently flamboyant comeback to outdo the French artists who, for their part, have had an exceptional year.

1. Clara Luciani “Heart” (Romance/Universal)

Beating heart. Who better than Clara Luciani embodies this year 2021 where we could finally breathe and hope? The singer of “La Grenade” did more than pass the difficult course of the second album with her “Coeur”, unveiled last June. She gave the LA by putting disco back in fashion, long before the return of ABBA, and was one of the first to make the crowds dance and smile again on stage at the start of the school year. We have already seen it everywhere, but the Claramania has only just begun. The ticket office for his tour is a hit.

2. Orelsan “Civilization” (3e Bureau/Wagram Music)

He’s the rapper of the year. And much more than that. We only talk about Orelsan since the release on Amazon in October of the XXL documentary on his extraordinary journey and on November 19 of “Civilization”. A fourth album which confirms the immense talent of the 39-year-old Caennais to tell the intimate and the universal, to combine rap and pop, to reconcile the niche and the popular. Put into orbit by “The Smell of Gasoline”, it has already sold 274,000 copies in one month and is on track to finish the year at the top of sales.

3. Eddy de Pretto “To All The Bastards” (Romance/Universal)

It’s hard to find a hit as strong and surprising as “Fête de trop”. The “Kid” from Créteil did not succeed with the jackpot of the first with his second album, which sold 300,000 copies. It is all the more infuriating that we find “To all bastards” even better than its predecessor: more impactful, more open, richer, with a soulful touch added to the song and rap cocktail. Eddy de Pretto affirms his pen and his voice. We can only hope that the Victoires de la Musique will finally reward him.

4. Fire! Chatterton “Clay Palace” (Virgin/Universal)

A shot, a crush. Since March, the Parisian group’s third album, “Palais d’argile”, has never tired us, neither on record nor on stage. The meeting of their poetic and feverish rock with the electronic pulsations of Arnaud Rebotini made sparks and happiness. Mixture of ambition, power and fragility, like the world, our lives, this album shakes and helps. No wonder U 2 spotted them, no wonder they’re unanimous in the end-of-year selections.

5. Louis-Jean Cormier “The Sky is Down” (Yotanka)

It’s always the same with this boy. When Louis-Jean Cormier releases a new album, we know instantly that it will be one of the great musical moments of the year. “The Sky is Down” is no exception to the rule. It’s even the best record of this formidable Quebecer, star at home, unknown to us, leader of the brilliant Karkwa, little French-speaking brothers of Radiohead. He signs an impressive fourth recording on mourning, never dark, always intense, carried by a unique breath, where French sounds like nowhere else.

6. “Mitsouko” Bear (Capitol/Universal)

This is the album that touched us the most. With in it one of the most beautiful songs of the year, “NTM à Bercy”, on our link to music, to the passage of time and to transmission. Ours has always had a knack for seducing us with his caressing voice, his skilful lyrics and his pop melodies, but on his fourth disc, this sensitive animal took us on a rollercoaster of emotion. The youngest son of Alain Souchon does not make noise but he continues to trace a singular and admirable furrow.

7. Arman Méliès “Laurel Canyon” (Royal Bourbon)

There are a few of us feverishly watching each record by Arman Méliès. Some also curse to see that this musician, dubbed by Bashung, Thiéfaine and Julien Doré, for whom he wrote and composed, does not enjoy success commensurate with his talent. However, it is enough to immerse oneself in this “Laurel Canyon”, a collection of sublime rock songs in French played in the middle of the great American spaces to be amazed by so many emotions and power.

8. Laylow “The Curious Case of Mr. Anderson” (Sony)

One of the most ambitious albums of the year. And the great rap record of 2021 with Orelsan. After the already very noticed “Trinity” in 2020, Laylow left the competition very far behind with this 2nd concept recording. He stages this mysterious double “Mr. Anderson” to illustrate an introspective quest through dense compositions and eventful duos with Damso, Nekfeu or Hamza. A successful bet that has won over the general public to the point of allowing the Toulousain to fill two Accor Arenas scheduled for next March in a few hours.

9. Gaëtan Roussel “Do you know? » (PlayTwo)

This is one of the good news of 2021: we have found Gaëtan Roussel, his verve, his pen, his talent. After a disappointing album three years ago, the singer of Louise Attaque signs a fiery and touching fourth solo album. A project born during the first confinement, alone with his voice and his guitar, like a return to basics before surrounding himself with guests for two miraculous duets with Alain Souchon and Camélia Jordana. He hadn’t done better since his formidable “Ginger” in 2010.

10. Janie “Always Flowers” ​​(PlayTwo)

Female Revelation of the Year. A UFO in the musical landscape, a pretty flower that pierces the asphalt, a return to emotion and to the piano when everyone rushes onto the dance floors. Barely landed, this 26-year-old from Sarthe capsizes hearts with her natural grace and her intimate songs of universal significance, with Véronique Sanson, France Gall and the 1980s as benchmarks. Embarked on the tour of the Zéniths de Vianney, who arranged the strings of her album, the “little blonde” is growing visibly.

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