Therion‘s latest album, Les Fleurs Du Mal, couldn’t be consider as one more studio album on their long-lasting career, but rather a strange piece of art. The particularity of this record is based on three facts: all the songs of the album are French covers and sung in French. The album is a tribute to the infamous French poet Charles Baudelaire, and on this album, the band had complete independence over the marketing and sales, as the album was released under Christofer Johnson’s own label.
Les Fleurs Du Mal is not only a perspective on which the band wants to presents this covers, but the way they approach to them at the time to made them. Yes, it’s somehow their style, very symphonic and operatic (Poupée De Cire, Poupée The Son & Une Fleur Dans Le Coeur). But Is also true that they opted for use a more pop and mainstream approach to some of the songs (Initials B.B & Je n’ai besoin que de tendresse).
Even though I am not familiar with French popular music, I recognized some of the songs that Therion covered on this album. one song that struck me for sure was La Maritza, as Lori’s vocals are just amazing, a real vocal piece of art. Dis moi poupée, is one of those weird songs that are really enjoyable on its own way. As the rest of the album is a different experience of what one can usually expects in a Therion album.
The whole album is not an original idea as a studio album itself. What it is original and captivating about this record is the way the band execute each one of the covers. They keep the original structure (even the language), but added the “Therion touch” to it. If you are familiar with Therion, you should know that Christopher Johnsson a very meticulous person at the time to create a Therion album. So this time around, the band presents something different (as always they do) that the listener can enjoy or hate. No Therion album is like it’s predecessor, and that is one of the key of success for this band after 25 years of exploring and breaking musical barriers.
With Les Fleurs Du Mal, Therion gives a leap of faith into the unknown by putting an album out this way. From the writing, producing, recording, pressing and even in this case promoting, Christofer Johnsson comments in a recent interview we had with him the challenges the band had to face to make this album possible.
As mentioned before the album is a music and art tribute to the infamous poet Charles Baudelaire, who scandalized the liberal french society of the 19th century with his poems. As the idea surrounding the album, Therion on its own way scandalized the listeners and hard-core fans of the band with this record which for many is the tombstone of the band, while for others is their best effort yet.
01 Poupée de cire, poupée the son
02 Une fleur dans le coeur
03 Initials B.B
04 Mon amour, mon ami
06 La Maritza
07 Soeur angelique
08 Dis moi poupée
10 En Alabama
11 Wahala manitou
12 Je n’al besoin que de tendresse
13 La licorne d’or
14 J’al le mal de toi
15 Poupée de cire, poupée the son
16 Les sucettes