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L' Engoulevent - L'Ile Oł Vivent Les Loups CD (album) cover


L' Engoulevent


Prog Folk

3.63 | 18 ratings

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4 stars Some growers in our favorite musical genres take a few listens, weeks, months, years, or decades to finally capture our attention. I have absolutely no doubt that I was treated to analog samples from L'ENGOULEVENT's debut back at the time of release because I vividly remember them some 40 years on, without ever having attached more than ephemeral significance to them, let alone the name of the artist. Perhaps they needed to be sequestered to be appreciated, or maybe I'm the one who needs some isolation time after passing up a near prog folk masterpiece. Well, better late than never.

This blend of Quebecois/Acadien folk with classical music seems to have been envisioned by a twisted camera obscura that could look ahead and determine how wonderful it would sound in the future. It disembodies the idealism and hope of its day without a trace of self indulgence or self importance. This is best encapsulated in 3 brilliant numbers - "Les Vieux Trains", "Voix et Violons" and "Legende de la Chasse-Galerie". The latter is the only one with actual words, and is also the most trad sounding and vivacious. The closest comparison for the more dreamy numbers would be CANO. The manner in which the violins bridge folk, classical and jazz hits many of the same sweet spots, but just more consistently than CANO. "La Nouvelle" is another highlight and one of the more progressive tracks, with a few sympathetic shifts. The only misstep is the bizarre chanson "Je Me Demand", which is shockingly out of place but not out of time soon enough.

I can't quite award 5 stars due to the short running time and one track that is a mandatory skip, but "L'Ile ou Vivent les Loups" is a required time-travel destination per your prog folk trip advisor.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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