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Lazuli - Saison 8 CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

3.92 | 88 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Antonis Kalamoutsos
4 stars It has been some years now that I desire to dive in to Lazuli' s material and I finally managed to get synchronised with them only with their 8th album, aptly titled Saison 8. And while some elements were instantly understood from the first listen, some stylistic issues gave me a hard time, to be honest.

I find it very hard to believe that any experienced listener, no matter personal tastes and preferences, would disagree that Lazuli deliver music of the utmost quality. All technical aspects of their work is really close to excellence. More specifically, their personal sound is unique (with the custom-made stringed instrument called "Leode" playing in important role in this), they deliver flawless production and extraordinary instrumentation/arrangements, revealing musicians with the highest levels of perfectionism and advanced "quality control" mechanisms. Furthermore, the musicianship is equally admirable, with none of the 5 members never playing not even an unnecessary or not ideally expressed note. Finally, their songwriting skills demonstrate players/composers of the ultimate artistic confidence and knowledge. All 8 compositions stand in the exact same level and Saison 8 is truly one of the most balanced and controlled albums you can listen to, really.

Now that we got some things straight, it's fair to say that I can imagine two potential contrasted ways to view Lazuli' s music, especially in the way the music actually feels. One view could be that, besides the excellence described above, their style feels quite "safe" and radio friendly. That their undoubtedly beautiful melodic songs balance somewhere between sophisticated pop and rock music, without really being progressive or innovative, that there are no risks taken and nothing to really challenge the prog enthusiast. It's true that there is nothing technical or complex here and that Saison 8 feels more with that beloved old companion with whom you can share deep feelings of tenderness rather than passionate, adventurous love.

On the other hand, one may say that Lazuli capture many of the fundamental essences of prog music, after complexity and technicality is removed. The prog vibes are ever-present, the beautiful harmonies, the bittersweet notes, the uplifting or delicate atmospheres that define the cream of the prog style. It's all here, trapped within the notes. And while the sound is familiar, in the end Lazuli resemble nothing particularly. Even in moments when you can vaguely connect them with post-2000 prog rock bands like Porcupine Tree and the likes, or when you recognise folk, jazz or world music elements here and there, they remain intact and untouched, safe within their prog minimalism.

I traveled a lot between these two different opinions, between 3 and 4 stars, only to end up giving them 4 stars with all my heart and the reason is the songs. Those beautifully crafted 8 songs that may not have the power to change or shape me differently as a person but generously offer their "easy" but still intellectual delights, in a way that only a virtuous band can. And while I find it easier to get bonded with the slightly darker moments ("Un Linceul de Brume", "Les Cotes"), nothing stands out really. And you don't need to understand the French language in order to realise that this whole construction can't escape a remarkable level of poeticness. There are no Babel towers in art, anyway!

Saison 8 by Lazuli don't reserve the qualities of a wild, passionate lover but those of a good and trustworthy friend. I can strongly recommend this album to anyone that is after these values. As for me, I really enjoyed the album and the constant trip between its imaginary oppositional aspects!

Antonis Kalamoutsos | 4/5 |


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