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Malicorne - En Public CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.00 | 14 ratings

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4 stars Malicorne have been my favourite folk-related band ever since I got to know them from this album. They played traditional French folk and did usually not stray too far from the lyrical content of the originals. But they had a number of qualities that made them stand out in the scene.

First of all I would mention their intense performance that is soaked in melancholy. The Lebanese/French singer Gabriel Yacoub is the central point. His slightly nasal plaintive voice, his rich guitar chords, and the harmonies delivered by the entire band are Malicorne's main point of attraction.

Secondly they have always applied very inspired and lush arrangements that were really innovative at their time and still sound fresh today: acoustic and non-distorted electric guitar, violin, percussion, background synthesisers for texture and a battery of traditional instruments and even a few self-invented ones. They almost never use a rock drum kit so don't expect the Fairport Convention approach. Malicorne sounds entirely different: mainly acoustic, melancholic and French of course.

En Public is one of Malicorne's finest moments. The live performances of Ecolier Assassin and Pierre de Grenoble are simply stunning. Due to a whole suite of French/Canadian dances and reels, this album is more folksy then most of their studio albums.

Given the popularity of The Decemberist these days, it might be a good time to explore this influential band that revitalised folk music in the 70's and made it compelling for rock audiences. Depending on your receptiveness towards acoustic folk, you either might want to start here or with their best studio album Almenach.

Bonnek | 4/5 |


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