Patrick Bruel – Encore une Fois

French singer Patrick Bruel, immortalized by his 1989 hit ‘Caisser la Voix’, has released his eleventh studio album under the title ‘Encore une Fois’. Loosely translated ‘Just once more’; that’s the name of the album and that’s exactly what Bruel meant. Once again, starting from scratch, Bruel said he wanted to rediscover the music. Whatever the case may be, it has in any case led to a fresh-sounding pop album in which you absolutely cannot hear that the 63-year-old Bruel has been at the top of the music world for so long.

The album contains no fewer than 17 new tracks, ranging from pop songs with a nostalgic leaning towards the eighties, such as ‘Pouce’, to small songs that are so typical of French chanson. The chanson that is once again in the spotlight in the Netherlands by Matthijs van Nieuwkerk and Rob Kemps, who walk nostalgically revelling through Paris in their TV program. There’s no need for that nostalgia. Listen to a song like ‘Lettre a la con’ on this new album and you know that in 2022 the French chanson is still very much alive.

As always, Bruel collaborates with his regular team of songwriters and composers Félix Gray, Paul Ecole, Gérard Presgurvic, but also collaborated with a number of newcomers such as Hoshi, Mark Weld, Nino Vella et Sébastien Rousselet de Rouquine, Gia Martinelli and NESS, which means that the album cannot be seen as a solo album, but rather as the fruit of a collaboration of many musical talents.

“Derniere noche, premier cafe” is a fun song that develops into a small earwig. In this song, Bruel reverses the French proverb “Dernier cafe, premier verte”. Searching for his love at night, after his last glass of wine, but before the first cup of coffee in the morning.

‘Je reviens’ is certainly the most typical Bruel song on this album, beautiful with some Arabic influences through the use of the oud and the bendir. The result is a beautiful atmosphere. The classic love song. Bruel is a master at it.

Do not expect Patrick Bruel to take completely new musical paths on his new album, as far as his commercially proven musical recipe will not be in jeopardy. The album does show a new-found ‘esprit’ that certainly contributes to the quality of this album. Trusted Bruel quality with a renewed joie de vivre. (8/10) (Sony Music France)

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