France - Full Moon 44 - 05/18/00
Autour De Lucie
Le Village Vert / Small
It should't be necessary to present the label Le Village Vert, which is an
important element of the French pop trend, with an enriched and various catalogue.
The release of the third album of Autour De Lucie allows me to mention it again.
We definitely talk about this group at the moment, for example with the last novel
of the Americain writer Bret Easton Ellis, Glamorama (which of course is more
fictitious), in mind.
Everything started at the beginning of 1992, with the first demos of Valé rie Leulliot,
now singer/guitarist of the band. Gradually, the group shaped up with the encounter with
guitarist Olivier Durand (he left a few years ago) and bassist Fabrice Dumont. At the end
of 1994, the first album L'Echappée Belle was released, with 11 refreshing pop
songs, sometimes naïve but never simplistic and above all with no pretension. Anyway, the
music was far from the arrogant Britpop which was on at that time in England. The album
was introduced most exciting in USA, Japan and Canada. There was also an American release
with an eponymous title in 1996 (Nettwerk).
Meanwhile there were some changes with the voluntary severance of Olivier Durand,
replaced by Jean-Pierre Ensuque, and the integration of drummer Bruno Saunier (who was
replaced by Sébastian Buffet for the third album). After a lot of concerts, interspersed
with some singles and EPs, the band went back to studio in 1996 to record a second album
with producer Gilles Martin (dEUS, Christophe Miossec, Little Rabbits, Dominique A), released
in the beginning of 1997 in Europe, and in 1998 in the USA. We can find the same qualities
as for the precedent album, obviously with more skill and more maturity, particularly with
more guitars and the apparition of electronic laps.
Faux Mouvement was released a few weeks ago, and it's in the tradition of the
precedents, but we can hear more string instruments and more electronic tones. This musical
diversification brings undeniably a plus, just as the perfect production of Ian Capple
(Tricky, The Tindersticks, Alain Bashung). But we can notice - fortunately - that the
unaffectedness of the whole makes this band always pleasant. We can point the calculated risks
out for this new album, which proves the ability of the musicians to vary their style. So, if
the "pop" basis is the main theme, Autour De Lucie has certainly reached his artistic maturity.
It only presents the luxurious orchestration with electronic progressions, with silky laps and
harmonic strings tones. The group sometimes even creates an ambiant music feel by neglecting
the classical "verses - chorus" side of the pop. This is not obvious at the beginning of the
album because of the first song Je Reviens, the most acoustic, or Le Dernier Mot,
already released on the Le Village Vert compilation
Panorama, but remixed for this
album. But the electronic atmosphere prevails with the others tracks, i.e. 9 of the 11 that are on
Faux Mouvement. Some more remixed songs will also soon be recorded.
So, if you, like me, can't stand listening to bands like Oasis, unable to change their style,
let's make a detour through Faux Mouvement...
Copyright © 2000 Patrick Dubail