Lazuli – 11 (2023)

Lazuli - 11 (2023)
Artist: Lazuli
Album: 11
Genre: Eclectic Prog
Label: L’Abeille Rôde
Year Of Release: 2023
Quality: FLAC (tracks)

Tracklist:
1. Sillonner des océans de vinyles (5:03)
2. Triste carnaval (5:03)
3. Qui d’autre que l’autre (4:36)
4. Égoïne (5:22)
5. Lagune grise (5:21)
6. Parlons du temps (5:05)
7. Le pleureur sous la pluie (5:04)
8. Les mots désuets (3:09)
9. La bétaillère (4:05)
10. Mille rêves hors de leur cage (6:20)
11. Le grand vide (5:11)

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Personnel:
– Dominique Leonetti / vocals, guitars
– Arnaud Beyney / guitar
– Claude Leonetti / Léode
– Romain Thorel / keyboards, French horn
– Vincent Barnavol / drums & percussion, marimba

One of France’s best proggers of the 21st Century are back with their tenth studio album release. (Unlike the band, I do not count boxset / greatest hits albums.)

1. “Sillonner des océans de vinyles” (5:03) surprisingly poppy; unsurprisingly quite French–even ANGE-like. (8.75/10)

2. “Triste carnaval” (5:03) Wow! Sounds so much like a Bruce Swoord/THE PINEAPPLE THIEF song–only with French lyrics. (8.6667/10)

3. “Qui d’autre que l’autre” (4:36) a nice prog song with a heavier PORCUPINE TREE/NEMO feel and sound to it. (8.875/10)

4. “Égoïne” (5:22) strumming acoustic guitars open this one, leading us down a kind of 1970s folk rock à la HARMONIUM, AL STEWART, SUPERTRAMP, or ROD STEWART. (8.75/10)

5. “La lagune grise” (5:21) Swamp rock! Tom PETTY and The EAGLES. Awesome harp-like lull before the bombastic guitar solo in the instrumental section. (8.75/10)

6. “Parlons du temps” (5:05) A really pretty, heart-wrenching song. Kind of like an ANATHEMA song in many ways. A top three song for me. (9.25/10)

7. “Le pleureur sous la pluie” (5:04) could almost be a Soul/R&B song from Detroit in the early 1970s. Another surprisingly beautiful and emotional song. Claude Leonetti’s Léode works incredibly well in this context! Great repeating chorus throughout the powerful instrumental passage. Another top three song. (9.25/10)

8. “Les mots désuets” (3:09) definitely sounds like a Serge Fiori (HARMONIUM) song with its solo folk acoustic guitar and single singing voice. (8.5/10)

9. “La bétaillère” (4:05) a much heavier song rooted in more American swamp/Southern rock chords/sounds. (8.33333/10)

10. “Mille rêves hors de leur cage” (6:20) sung in a theatric conspiratorial tone, this one could’ve easily come from a stage musical. I like the jazzy instrumentation chosen–as well as the rollicking finish. (8.66667/10)

11. “Le grand vide” (5:11) solo piano and delicate voice sung as if right into your ear opens this one. At 0:35 bass and xylophone join in bringing a little more intensity and drama to the song. My final top three song. (9/10)

This album presents much more of a hodge-podge of pop-oriented songs collected as if tributes to old masters and styles than I was expecting. Surprisingly, I like all of it: vocalist Dominique Leonetti hits it out of the park on all counts!

B/four stars; an excellent addition to any prog lover’s music collection–though perhaps not as proggy as one might expect, this is just a great collection of nostalgic music.
~ Review by BrufordFreak

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