Making one's second recording a live album can seem somehow pretentious. A band cannot decently think they have enough hit singles in their first production and that people want to hear different version of them. Or, thinking about it, recording a concert as a second album can also be an easy way out: producers pressure you for a new record and you have not written enough new songs, so you go for live. Fortunately, it is not for any of those reasons that Java recorded live for their second album. Since their first album, they had played more than 100 concerts, and Sur Seine, for those who saw them, is a perfect representation of their shows: the sound is purged, reduced to the sweetest expression, double bass, drums, vocals, and accordion or piano. Erwan is playing with his audience, with his ability to say the right thing with perfect timing. And as icing on the cake, they put two previously unreleased songs along with old items. Among them, "Chronique d'une Toxine" is a great masterpiece mixing deep lyrics and a beautiful piano melody, a cornerstone of their shows. The songs taken from Hawaï are distorted here, extended: the band improvises on the music while the singer does the same with the lyrics.
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AllMusic Review by Romain Guillou