NPR, a national syndicator to a network of 900 public radio stations in the United States, has honored Stromae’s second album, Racine Carrée, with inclusion on the list of their favorite albums of 2014. (Shh…never mind that it was released in August 2013. We can all agree with NPR that it “helped define” 2014.)
As an introduction to the list, NPR wrote:
“These 50 albums helped define 2014 for us….They are how we’ll remember the year. They’re the ones we love well enough to share.”
Here’s NPR’s Anastasia Tsioulcas on Racine Carrée:
“His bracing, mesmerizing and innovative videos made him a worldwide star, but Belgium’s Paul Van Haver, a.k.a. Stromae, hits it on all cylinders on his second full-length album (in English, Square Root). He strides from track to track — and style to style — with wit, humor and grace to spare. From the wordplay of his biggest hit, the EDM-soaked “Papaoutai” (Papa, où-t’es? – “Dad, where are you?”), to the drunken break-up ballad “Formidable,” Racine Carrée (Amazon / iTunes) is a perfectly constructed confection glazed with pop sheen, but one with daunting brains and a melancholy heart.“
NPR’s 2014 Stromae coverage
In case you missed any of NPR’s coverage of Stromae this year, here’s a little review.
NPR first produced a short profile of Stromae as part of their celebration of Black History Month in February 2014.
Also in February, NPR Music blogged about Stromae in their monthly feature “Latitudes: International Music You Must Hear Now.”
In mid-June, with Stromae’s first-ever US show on the horizon, NPR aired a more in-depth profile and interview.
Later the same month, with his New York debut behind him and the fall tour of North America on the horizon, an even longer interview with Michel Martin was broadcast.
Finally, in July, an episode of “All Songs Considered” featured “Ave Cesaria.”
UPDATED December 14 to add: The year’s not over yet, and NPR just can’t seem to stop enthusing about Racine Carrée. Yesterday, NPR music put Stromae’s album at the top of their list of the “Best Global Music of 2014.”
Cover photo: AFP/AFP/Getty Images