Izïa at Rock en Seine: between blandness and decadence

It is not enough to dress all in leather, to howl in the wind anything and everything, or to walk the stage from right to left then from left to right while swinging your water bottle or your microphone stand in declaiming a parody of biblical discourse without head or tail to be a beast of the stage, an evangelist priest in the making. At best, this attitude can earn you a suspicion, at the very beginning of your career, of those loved by a music industry that loves to compare, bet, project itself… Was there a French Iggy Pop? This is what Izïa experienced from 2009 and the release of her very first album. “Damn it, 2009! », as she herself will say on the microphone. The egg has since hatched and the spell has broken. Until showing itself in parody. Not of Iggy Pop, but of herself and the different genres she rides.

A bulky discography

However, on the “Cascade” stage of the Rock en Seine festival this Saturday, August 27, the artist spared no effort in trying to electrify the crowd. She even does everything in her power to trigger this wave that is supposed to carry us away, whether we know the artist or not at all. But no wave on the horizon, only a ripple. On which she will still try to surf, well helped by her most effective titles, including in particular So much trouble tailor-made for the stage and mass communions, Izïa seems to hang from everyone’s calves and bite them, when all seems lost, to beg them to move, to join the movement. But pleas never create adhesion.

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Whose fault, what? Perhaps to the discography of the artist, his best enemy. Behind her, five totally incoherent albums. Two very rock, in any case in the idea that the general public can make of them (overpowered electric guitars, simplistic drums and buggers) in which she showed all the same a little of the talent which could be hers, inflated to the excess by all its ardor, its force, and this hoarse and overpowering voice that has long been compared to that of Janis Joplin. Then three others who navigate with difficulty between pop (The wave2015), electro-pop (Citadel2019) and very 80’s FM pop tinged with techno (Speed, 2022). Their only common point: the sharing of shots specific to the different styles married for the occasion.

It’s never pleasant to listen to a record full of worn-out clichés. But when they all find themselves in scattered order in one and the same stage performance, it’s hard to take a tad of pleasure. No coherence emerges from the whole – apart from screams, questions thrown at the crowd (including the very original: “How are you? »), and repeated errors of words or structures (totally assumed by the artist, and sometimes vulgarly “We don’t give a fuck about it, don’t we? We’re back, we’re going to redo the progressive climb! » – perhaps to exaggerate a rock side once again very cliché). For the rest, it’s a great mush. Only a few regulars, the artist’s faithful followers, jiggle at the front of the stage. For the others, we look at his watch. What time is it again Jamie XX?

Identity quest

The stage is a place where you don’t lie. And this is all the more true in festivals where the public most often knows you from afar, so very artificially: it is therefore difficult to achieve unanimity with complete strangers when you present yourself dressed in totally contradictory tinsel. We can only ask ourselves these questions: who is Gizia? Why does she offer us this style, and then this other? Where does she want to go, where does she take us? Does she at least know it herself? Without answers to all these questions, it is difficult to follow the captain of the boat.

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Only moment of grace, or almost, of the service: this resumption ofIrradiated title of his father, Jacques Higelin, totally re-orchestrated to bring it closer to the stadium anthem without however distorting it. This time, no clichés, no exaggerations, no racing behind current trends. Izïa offers a part of herself, a momentum, a breath. Sincere, touching, invigorating. It was the only time.

Izïa at Rock en Seine: between blandness and decadence