One of the most immediately enjoyable albums I’ve heard, Stromae’s “Racine Carree” is the type of French record that doesn’t require even a working knowledge of the language to enjoy. Mind you, it helps to understand the lyrics, as they’re often downright genius, with clever turns of phrase and an innovative use of vernacular on tracks like “Papaoutai” and “Formidable.” But the music itself is so inventive and pleasing that even a passive viewer will get a thrill out of it. Darker songs like “Tous Les Memes” and “Quand C’est” are the album’s emotional center, but it’s lighter tracks like “Ave Cesaria” and “Merci” that are its backbone. Highly recommended for fans of world, rap, and hip hop music.
Rating: ★★★★★ (out of 5)