"Le futur du rock en France a un nom : il s'appelle Izia."
December 16, 2011 10:10 AM   Subscribe

Back in Town is a song by Izia, a French rock band fronted by and named for Izïa Higelin. Even though she comes from a showbiz family, the band initially found little favor on French radio. But after a string of blistering live performances all over France, the self-titled first album became a hit and won a couple of awards at the prestigious Victoire de la Musique ceremony, where Izia performed the song Let Me Alone. There are a bunch of live performances online, including of Life is Going Down, a cover of AC/DC's Touch Too Much and a duet with Iggy Pop. This past November, sophomore album So Much Trouble was released, featuring such songs as the title track, On Top of the World, and my favorite, Baby.
posted by Kattullus (9 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
She can rock the fuck out let me tell you.
posted by The Whelk at 10:21 AM on December 16, 2011 [2 favorites]

She is having so goddamn much fun up there. Infectious.

(and damn if she isn't a dead-ringer for my half-French cousin. Spooky.)
posted by notsnot at 10:43 AM on December 16, 2011

This is a classic example of formulaic European variety show entertainment where the protagonist, in our case Ms. Izia, will be surrounded with studio musicians and perform over-dramatized numbers of a specific genre until the ratings go down, at which point her PR machine and the network will embark on a three-month vacation/makeover and reinvent her under a different guise, say jazzy lounge singer.

In interviews, she'll refer to her "rocker" past as juvenile flirtations in rebellion against her classical training, even though that portion of her career was only six months prior. Her career in the spotlight (chat TV, pink press, musical specials, judge on talent shows, localized filmography) will continue as long as her name still has pull with the network.

It's naturally safer for public consumption and feeds into the European expectations of nepotism, where the artist is presumed to be on the up as they've obviously inherited their creative genes from a family member.

Sorry to burst anyone's bubble, but examples of this type of shite exist in all markets, including every Starbucks in Hollywood.
posted by jsavimbi at 10:54 AM on December 16, 2011 [5 favorites]

Anybody else hearing "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" in the guitar riffs?
posted by strangecargo at 11:19 AM on December 16, 2011

This is a neat post exposing us to what's going on musically elsewhere in the world, but I am just not at all impressed by the music. She can sing, I guess, but the music is the same blues-rock retread that's been going round 'n' round since the '70s. I'm surprised that she gained any traction on French radio given the top-10 Europop dreck that usually dominates, but if any "rock" was going to be played on French radio, this is it.
posted by The Michael The at 12:26 PM on December 16, 2011

The main riff does sound like "Dead Leaves..." Which isn't a bad thing. There are only so many chord progressions to go around, after all. Green Day used the same one in "Brain Stew", albeit poorly (though that was always a throwaway of a song really).

As for "blues rock retreads", I'll take a good Joplin throwback over Nickelback or Linkin Park any day of the week. Links bookmarked!
posted by spoobnooble at 2:52 PM on December 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

I liked her voice, that Joplin sound, but not the songs so much. Let me Alone wasn't bad. I struggle to like French rock, not sure what about it doesn't work for me a lot of the time. I like French rap and jazz type songs.
posted by shoesietart at 4:51 PM on December 16, 2011

Le futur du rock en France is Marvin, Pneu, Papier Tigre, Duflan Duflan (ok they're from Belgium...), Crane Angels, or Gablé.

But they rarely end up on television.
posted by SageLeVoid at 5:08 AM on December 17, 2011 [3 favorites]

Some valid criticisms above, but her energy does seems honest and is infectious. And, will all due respect to my dear friends in Paris, the French are not exactly know for their rock and roll. So it's great to see a band like this come out of France. Thanks for posting!
posted by Dean358 at 10:13 AM on December 17, 2011

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