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Etron Fou Leloublan - Les Sillons De La Terre CD (album) cover


Etron Fou Leloublan



3.95 | 34 ratings

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4 stars Rating: B+

After the stunning masterpiece that was Les Poumons Gonfles, Etron Fou Leloublan certainly had a lot to prove. Rather than produce a carbon copy of that CD, they expanded their boundaries (while still remaining themselves) with the excellent Les Sillons de la Terre, which ultimately stands as their second best effort (behind Les Poumons Gonfles). Etron Fou is still the same ridiculously quirky (and equally charming) band that fans of the first three CDs know and love, but they prove they're no one-trick pony with this CD, as it marks a relative shift in sound.

They still build their music around start and stop rhythms, most notably the fantastic drumming of Guigou Chenevrier, but now they focus less on that aspect. Instead of being THE dominant factor in their music, it is now one of three equally dominant factors (and Etron Fou only had three dominant traits at that point). Sharing the spotlight is the saxophone, which is more prominent here than on previous releases. Before, the saxophone was mostly used to build around the grooves. Now, however, with a new saxophonist in the fold, the saxophone sees more time as the prime carrier of the CD's dominant musical themes, adding a strong jazz flavor to much of the music (stronger than before, that is).

Even more noticeably different, however, is the prominence of keyboards. Les Poumons Gonfles was the first Etron Fou Leloublan CD to feature keyboards. As such, the band was still experimenting with how to fit them into their music, meaning that the keyboard contributions were often subdued and non-intrusive, with occasional flashes of brilliance coloring the already explosive music around them. On Les Sillons De La Terre, Thirion (the keyboardist) has found her element within the band and is given the opportunity to shine, which she grabs, coloring the music with some its most serious themes. The result of the more dominant keyboards (and saxophone) is one of Etron Fou's greatest musical statements. Songs like "Lavabo" and "L'enfance de Guigou" feature perhaps the greatest songwriting of any Etron Fou songs.

The strange vocals that characterized early releases are, like the rhythms, less prominent here (though still clearly present), making it one of Etron Fou's most accessible releases. Given that they are an avant-garde band, and thus potentially quite difficult to get into, that automatically makes this one of the best places to start with the band. That the music is fantastic only reaffirms that. Les Poumon Gonfles is the band's masterpiece, but Les Sillons de la Terre is a worthy follow up and an essential slice of avant-garde listening.

Pnoom! | 4/5 |


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