Album Review: Isa Somparé – Le Monde Est Fou

Isa Somparé is a jazz artist based in Paris, France whose new album Le Monde Est Fou (The World is Mad) has been released today. Written during pandemic lockdown, it showcases Isa’s take on the modern world in which we live. As you may guess from the album’s title, it’s not a rosy one.

By Graeme Smith

Despite this assessment, Isa keeps it light. The opening title track combines jazz with lounge music and a touch of sci-fi to create something that feels both classic and futuristic. It certainly feels incomparable to anything else contemporary and I was excited to hear more.

From that lively opening, the album wanders into country and blues for track two Le Carrefour du Diable. It conjures up images of sin and smoky bars yet there remains something otherworldly about the composition. Isa’s vocals are smooth and expressive. I was captivated.

Speaking of sin, Porn Geneva comes next. A drum and bass track with a seedy undercurrent. It’s clear that Isa is going to leave no stone unturned during her exploration of today’s world and I was simply astonished by the range of styles that had already been on show by this point in the album. Yet, it didn’t feel disjointed. Isa’s voice holds it all together.

Track four Traverser les Rivières comes next. It’s a mellow return to jazz. As you listen, you can imagine yourself on a boat lazily following the flow of the titular rivers. It’s followed by the percussive biographical dance track Miss K. Then, Le Lac Léman introduces funky RnB elements.

The album closes with J’attends which in English means “I’m waiting”. It acts as a gentle final chapter that encourages the listener to slow down and take more time for the things that are important to them. It is simultaneously Isa at her more experimental and most relatable, perfectly capturing her brand of je ne sais quoi.

Le Monde Est Fou is a superb album that somehow manages to feel universal while being difficult to categorise. Isa Somparé is one of the most exciting artist I’ve heard for awhile. I hope you’ll agree. You can hear the album below.