Raôul Duguay

Douceur

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After the disappointing Chanteur de Pomme, an attempt at a successful pop record, Raôul Duguay took a three-year hiatus and came back with Douceur, a beautiful album of new age songs. Duguay was new age before the fact, as early as the early '70s, when he began to prophesy themes associated with the "peace and love" culture. For this LP, he teamed with old writing mate Michel Robidoux to come up with soft (the title means "softness") songs focused on acoustic guitar, light synthesizer work, and his voice. Singing softly, he seems simply to put the words in listeners' ears, allowing listeners to make the words their own. This is the Duguay of "Le Désert" and "Le Voyage," touching and meaningful, even though the subjects can sound naïve and dated nowadays. Side one of the LP offers short songs ranging from dreamy love scenes ("Va et Vient," "Pour Amants Seulements") to a pop ballad, "Séduction," the only track reminiscent of Chanteur de Pomme (recorded with the exact same team, it could very well be a leftover from the 1982 LP). Side two dives straight into new age music. The 13-minute "Monter en Amour" is a comfortably numbing erotic dream sung in duet with Monique Thouin. It seems that with Douceur, Duguay abandoned any mainstream ambition to record the music he wanted to share. The listener can feel that. Dismissed by radio at the time, it stands today as his most artistic effort since the 1977 orchestral album M.

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