Jour J and Heur H for the new Johnny Hallyday album, with De l'Amour the veteran singer's 50th studio release.
The new collection, dropped as a surprise while he tours to promote last year's Rester vivant album, sees him working with Yodelice.
He seems to have a sympathetic touch, the album has a modern flavour without losing its rock and blues roots. Some rockabilly on the title track, a trace of western on l'amour me fusille, a shot of pedal steel on Un Dimanche de janvier.
There's less showboating, less emphasis on stadium filling anthems or power ballads, and it's all the better for it. It comes across as more authentic and more personal. The voice is there, of course, but Johnny doesn't need to prove anything.
All it takes is the support of some top notch musicians and some fine songs to showcase it, things this album delivers solidly.
De l' Amour avoids the easy Johnny Hallyday cliches, the music in it is located in the wide open spaces of a rugged American landscape, shot in cinematic wide screen. Johnny centre of screen, exactly as it should be.