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Motis - L'Homme-Loup CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.22 | 25 ratings

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4 stars Impeccably produced Breton folk rock with well placed progressive keyboard flourishes and sensible pace changes form the essence of MOTIS on this their fourth studio album. The vocals suggest an underclassman's attendance at the Christian Descamps' school of the emotionally overwrought, while the picked instrumentation, flutes, and airs evoke last summer's visit to a European castle fair without the dankness.

The opening and closing cuts are among the strongest, both concerning themselves with the title theme of the "wolf man" or "werewolf" in folklore. But "La Dame et le Dragon" is more transfixing thanks to the dramatic delivery, flutes and organs. "Les Normands" accelerates the pace and exploits the organ to a greater degree in a killer riff that simply rocks. "P'tit Louis" is highlighted by a sparkling blend of mellotron, mandolin and feverishly tickled guitars, while "L'Artaban" again exemplifies the group's way with shifting tempos cleverly yet authentically, weaving in all manner of sung and played interludes. Even without the keyboards this would be spot on progressive on that basis alone.

Unlike "Prince Des Hauteurs", this disk does contain several tracks of minimal interest, which occur in succession - "La Trahison" lacks any sort of denouement clamored for by its 7 minute running length, and L'Enchanteur" and "L'hermite" are suprisingly languid, with even the rare emergence of synthesizer failing to salvage the latter as it winds down. I do, however, enjoy tunes like "Madrigal" that suggest, well, a certain style of music yet deliver more of a savoir faire swing simultaneously suggestive of les Chansonniers of Quebec..

Without sounding remotely self conscious, "L'Homme Loup" manages to virtually quantify timeless tastefulness and relevance independent of its substantial lyrical qualities. Not quite the legendary stuff of its namesake, it's no sheep in werewolf's clothing.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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