Released on Archives Magnétiques, Montreal label Ambiances Magnétiques' line of archival recordings, L'Oreille Enflée (The Swollen Ear) is a tale for children and generally young at heart avant-garde lovers. Narrated by Marie Ouellet, this story features a young girl with a vivid imagination and a host of characters played by Ambiances Magnétiques musicians such as Jean Derome, André Duchesne, and Joane Hétu. An allegory on the necessity to break the mold of conformity, this tale is accompanied by untypical music for a children's album. Composer Danielle Palardy Roger was a member of the seminal avant-garde all-female bands Wondeur Brass and Justine: Her writing calls for angular rock structures, staccato melodies, acoustic instruments such as saxophones and flutes, and disquieting, atmospheric settings. These musicians have all released much better performances elsewhere, but the whole thing is very cheerful and provides a perfect occasion to introduce pre-teens to something else than radio-friendly pop music. There is one big obstacle, though: The tale is narrated in French.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by François Couture