Mademoiselle Nineteen Compact Disc
Mademoiselle Nineteen’s rosy cheeks bear no trace of Botox; Mademoiselle Nineteen has never appeared on Jools Holland, the world’s media is not yet hanging on every word that comes from her luscious plump lips bursting with irony – this Gainsbourg-esque Lolita is maybe not yet even 19 years old. As you may well have understood, Juliette Wathieu is no Lana Del Rey. And above all, as she sings on her first single, quelle importance?...(who cares?)
Some of the comparisons are misleading. At a time when fragile Barbie dolls have resurfaced to give the Top 40 a once-over, Mademoiselle Nineteen is set to release her first album of timeless bubblegum pop, peppered with pheromones; if she were an item of clothing she would be a peculiar garb hanging in your wardrobe somewhere between France Gall’s frilly knickers, Britney Spears’s bra tops and Nancy Sinatra’s snakeskin knee-highs. The young Belgian chanteuse has found her Lee Hazlewood in Jacques Duvall with his cowboy hat and razor sharp pencil, who composed Je ne vois que vous, 30 years after the massively successful Banana Split made famous by Lio. But as Lio whiles away her time flirting with aesthetic boundaries and the quest for eternal youth and beauty, Mademoiselle Nineteen is pushing hard on the saloon doors, intent on giving her songs the depth of a Mid-Western landscape after a quick roll around in the hay. But make no mistake, this lp is a decisively European album which, in its innocence and fluffiness, unites French culture and the American dream, the post-war glory years and ambitious pop, Phil Spector and the Tricatel label muses – Valérie Lemercier, Helen Noguerra. A far cry away from Gainsbourg’s jailbait, Mademoiselle Nineteen is not too keen on strawberry lollipops. And if there is a slight nod to anything, it’s in the direction of his instrumentation on Annie rather than any phallic confectionary.
It could be said that Mademoiselle Nineteen is the owner of both a fine pair of pins and an active imagination. Initially hired as backing singer on the Lio tour, the adventure continued when she completely seduced Benjamin Schoos, head of the Freaksville label, followed by the whole of Belgium. Thanks to her breathtaking charm , rich voice and a handful of radio-friendly hits, she has managed to break the ice and make her impact on derivative pop. Cherchez la femme? Perhaps we have found her in this girl who sings about both love and pain within the same song despite her tender years. Are her boots made for walking? Mademoiselle Nineteen replies: je marche sur des pétales de rose (I’m walking on rose petals). Now sit back, wait for her to blossom and listen to her somewhat risqué nursery rhymes.