The thirty-four-year-old Belgian musician Paul Van Haver, professionally known as Stromae, released his second studio album “Racine carrée” in August 2013. This French language electropop album explores a wide range of themes that include relationship issues, racism, sexism, isolation from social network, AIDS, cigarettes and lung cancer. In this album that was reportedly recorded in an attic, Stromae tried to incorporate some African and Caribbean music elements on top of his usual 1990s inspired dance beats. The album has a total of thirteen tracks with an approximate overall time length of forty-three minutes. The album mostly received positive reviews from the music critics, especially for the thoughtful lyrics. Allmusic rated the album 4 out of 5 stars and praised his songwriting skills saying “Racine Carrée will be remembered as Stromae's breakthrough album and a major validation of his considerable songwriting talents.” The same article further added, “The Belgian-Rwandan young prodigy is at heart much closer to a singer/songwriter than to an EDM producer and DJ, which turns Racine Carrée into a very unusual kind of dancefloor filler. After all, how many albums designed for clubs feature songs that deal with subjects such as absent fathers, cigarettes and cancer, AIDS, racism, sexism, or social isolation created by the Internet?” It is very unusual to see some serious topics in a regular electropop album, but Stromae could incorporate these into his music successfully. Music Story, NU.nl and Metro newspapers all rated the album 4 out of 5 stars. The album received commercial success all across Europe, Canada and the United States. It peaked at number one on many music charts, including the US World Albums (Billboard), Dutch Albums (Album Top 100) and Italian Albums (FIMI) charts. It also reached the tenth position on Canadian Albums (Billboard) album. The use of serious themes in disco-oriented electropop music mixed with African and Caribbean rhythms makes this album very unique, something that was not experienced by the listeners before.
10 albums, 34 tracks
Stromae follows up Cheese with an even more adventurous album entitled Racine Carrée. When I listened to the album, it was as if I was in a fiesta as song after song had a wild peculiar beat - that is because Stromae melded a fusion of African, Caribbean, and his own distinctive Europop sound to produce an album with a celebratory feel to it. I rarely see this sense of adventurism in an album. I can cite Robyn’s Body Talk series of mini-albums as a similar album to this – because of the extent Robyn also experimented on expanding her sound. It’s always a joy to hear a favorite artist of mine push himself or herself to another level of creativity and be presented with an album that doesn’t fit my predisposed thinking of what that artist can actually do. There are thirteen tracks in this album and each one has its own unique features. Stromae eventually released seven singles from the album, all of which represent the best that this collection can offer.
I had to check my music blog to find out when exactly I discovered Stromae, because he released his album Cheese on June 14, 2010. The date of my blog entry about him and his big dance hit “Alors On Danse” was September 25, 2010. So based on those dates, everything fits in nicely! Incidentally, “Alors On Danse” went to #1 in 14 countries including France and his native Belgium, where a sizeable number of the population also speak French. However, the song was virtually unknown in the Philippines because the song is in French which is hardly spoken here so the chances of a French song topping the charts here are very slim. Actually, I haven’t heard it being played here in our local dance clubs that’s why at that time, this song was sort of my secret guilty pleasure! Anyhow, in 2010, I was still studying French at the local Alliance Française so that must be the reason why I discovered Stromae. So while I was studying the French language, I was also closely following the French music charts and since Stromae’s “Alors On Danse” went to #1 there, I would’ve most likely discovered it. It is a very easy song to fall in love with. Incidentally, Stromae’s album entitled Cheese is filled with dance songs so if you listen to it, it’s nonstop dancing from track 1 till the end. However, not all the tracks are that inviting, some work, some do not, some are so-so, and I even find some quite hilarious! My level of French is about that of a Grade 5 student but with the help of phone apps, I can understand what his songs are talking about, that’s why I think some of them are hilarious.
Official Music Videos
Featuring Version Videos
Remix Version Videos
Static Image Video
- Apr 30, 2018Stromae's "Defiler" Is an Electro-Pop Rush of Adrenaline
- Apr 27, 2018Hear Stromae's Electronic Journey on First Song in Five Years, 'Defiler'
- Apr 27, 2018Listen to Stromae’s New 9-Minute Song “DÉFILER”
- Apr 25, 2018Stromae teases comeback and shares snippets of new music
- Apr 24, 2018Stromae teases new music
- Feb 01, 2018Exclusive: Stromae Signs With WME and IMG
- Island France
Paul Van Haver (born 12 March 1985), better known by his stage name Stromae, is a Belgian musician, rapper and singer-songwriter. He established himself in both the hip hop and electronic music genres. Stromae came to wide public attention in 2009 with his song "Alors on danse" (from the album Cheese), which became a number one in several European countries. In 2013, his second album Racine carrée was a commercial success, selling 2 million copies in France alone and nearly 600,000 units elsewhere. He has sold over 8.5 million records worldwide. His music is primarily sung in French.
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