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Stromae - 'Alors On Danse'

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Fraser McAlpine | 12:57 UK time, Wednesday, 8 September 2010


Cards on the table, for a while there I wasn't gonna bother reviewing this at all. Not because there's anything wrong with it, you understand. It is, after all made up of a truly monolithic synth riff, the kind of thing you could build a sonic Stonehenge out of. And then adorned with a silly wheezily cheesy 'n cheap saxophone sample: you can't tell me they paid a real sax player to make his cherished horn sound like that. 

The ace in the hole is the brilliantly bored-sounding Belgian voice intoning the title, and a few choice observations about the point of our measly existance, over the top. Even his most engaged and exciteable moment, the drunken "la-la" refrain, is riddled with a sneer made up of pure "oh MUST I?"

What, I ask you, is there not to love about that?

The problem is, there just didn't seem to be a lot to say about it, beyond "good job, Stromae", and possibly "you might want to hire a real saxophone player next time". And before you say it, I am WELL aware that not-having-anything-to-say has never stopped anyone from writing about music in the past, least of all the good people of ChartBlog. Maybe there was a world tangent shortage or something. In any case, no review. Nosirreebob.

Of course, now Kanye West has got involved, and decided to throw a remix out there. That changes EVERYTHING. Not least because it offers a fascinating glimpse into the working mind of our egotistically-enhanced rap hero. I mean, how does Kanye West even approach a remix?

(Here's a clip of the remix. Here is the original video. Here's a picture of a seagull.)

Well, being a practical sort, he has elected to keep the things that he likes, and throw out the stuff which he does not. So the riff stays, as does the sax and the Belgian's bored choruses. What you will now struggle to hear is the absence of Kanye West, that was the first thing that just HAD to go.

Next up, why keep all that silly doubtful talk, about the woes of the world, and where we all fit in and how depressing our lives may or may not be? Why wallow through all that bleakness before we get to the shrugged revelation that dancing is, and always has been, our best release? It's all in French anyway, so why not bin it and replace it with...replace it with...I KNOW! How about a big rap about how brilliant Kanye West is, by Kanye West? That's something the world has NEVER HEARD BEFORE.

And - with a little help from Gilbert Forte - before you can say "whoah horsey!", the remix is done.

What can I say? The man knows what he likes.

Four starsDownload: Out now

BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

Musik's My Life says: "I could not tell you who these people are, other than Mr. West of course."

Planet Ill says: "'Alors On Danse (So We Dance)' was released last year with Stromae rapping in French, which by the way, is a brutal language on the mic."

SlothBoogie says: "It will get in your head and stay there"


  • Comment number 1.

    If you wanted to revie an excellent new song , you could have plumped for Barricade by Interpol .

    Not sure it's your thing though , but at least Harry would love it .

  • Comment number 2.

    Barricade is a great track, unfortunately the rest of the album isn't so good excluding Lights, Summer Well and Success. Strangely I went into listening to the album hoping to buy it and ended up finally buying Antics instead (which is a great album).

    As for this song; not sure I'm really into french but if you were into it then I guess you'd think it's alright, I can't say it does anything for me. 2 STARS

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi Harry !

    Antics would have to be one of my favourite albums of the last 10 years !

    And I have heard a LOT of albums .

    Regarding Lights , the last 3 minutes of this 5 and a half minute track , is up there with some of Interpol's finest moments .

    I would edit the song for a single release , starting the song as soon as the bass and drums kick in . The first two minutes are far too meandering.

    Summer Well and Success are my two other favourites too !

  • Comment number 4.

    Stromae was No1 in France and 11 other European countries over the summer and it's easy to see why: it's a catchy tune! So whether you understand le français or not, let's take it to the top here too!
    Since the horrendous Jo le taxi, French pop music has been deleted from British media and it's time for a new culture shock!

  • Comment number 5.

    I agree, whilst it fits the "novelty tune" bracket in my head, it's easily the one of the best summer tunes.


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