Stunning. It is simply stunning that someone who started so weakly could have developed this quickly into a full-blown Quebec rock artist. In all fairness, Vincent Vallières' first CD was not really bad, it simply tried to market him as a teen idol, something he clearly was not (that's called bad production/management choices). Too cleaned up and polished, his songs lacked depth and honesty. This time around, he managed to deliver a strong, gripping, highly cohesive CD, the kind that will age very well and still holds many promises not fulfilled -- guaranties for future albums. Most importantly, it is closer to the real Vallières, to his live sound: raw, moody, and just a bit off the wall. For Bordel Ambiant, Vallières kept his usual sidemen -- bassist Michel-Olivier Gasse and drummer Claude Lacroix -- now forming an exciting rhythm section, and worked with Les Chiens' Éric Goulet, who engineered the recording sessions (in a cottage, favoring a live-in-the-studio sound to stick closer to Vallières' live energy), produced them, and also contributed guitars and keyboards. The album opens with two slow, repetitive, and slightly identical songs: "Heille Toé" and "Y Fait Beau." The influence of Daniel Boucher is here very strong, making for a somewhat unsuitable opening. Vallières' own voice becomes more obvious in the upbeat "Plate" and "Gilles Lefèvre," and occasionally shows similarities with Fred Fortin, Barenaked Ladies, or even mid-'70s Robert Charlebois. His humor and fondness of poetic plays on words are showcased in "Les Grandes Questions" and "Danse au Soleil," respectively. Goulet's ambiences complete his folk-rockish attitudes. Lyrics are all in French and often rooted in the here and now, making them difficult to understand for someone unfamiliar with the Quebec vernacular and popular culture.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by François Couture