Six years that Étienne Daho had not launched new songs. We say it, but deep down, it doesn’t really matter. Time seems to have no hold on the French pop icon. His voice — it’s amazing — hasn’t aged a bit. His pop does not make his 67 years either: Daho sets his melodies on rhythms which sway gently and which, when they dance more frankly (petty criminals), stay quite far from house music.
Shoot the stars at night is in fact an ageless disc, like its author. It comes out in the 2020s, but it could have been recorded in the 1980s. Not so much because it displays typical sounds from 40 years ago – no, fortunately – but because Daho, at the background, has not changed much. It’s the same dandy, whose song full of slips is often at the limit of ringing false.
His pen tells here the passionate loves (the title song, in duet with Vanessa Paradis), the promised loves (Boyfriend), difficult loves (like two magnets) and those that fall apart (petty criminals). Daho sings about love from every angle, without ever sewing his songs with white thread. He always keeps an arm’s length from sentimentality and his romanticism keeps something cerebral.
Its asset remains this rich music, often carried by round basses which one would say borrowed from Gainsbourg of Melody Nelson, but reviewed by Air. Daho and his collaborators embellish his songs with luxurious arrangements, without excess of brilliance, with just the right amount of strings, brass or keyboards. It is opulent, without ostentation.
Daho is not really reinventing itself. Doesn’t really innovate. He probably won’t make new friends with this new record. Daho makes Daho, which is already very nice.
Shoot the stars at night