With their second album, Noir Désir went through some changes. For one thing, they decided to stick to the type of music which has now become their trademark -- raw, energetic rock. The wide variety of styles that could be heard on their previous offering has disappeared. Because of this, the band lost some of its commercial appeal for a while, but managed, nonetheless, to remain France's leading rock band. Also of note -- very few of the lyrics on Du Ciment Sous les Plaines are about politics, and there are not as many puns. Five of the 14 tracks are in English -- among these, "The Holy Economic War" might be a good introduction to the band, as it is very representative of their musical style and has political lyrics. Other tracks (like "Tout l'Or") were written in both French and English. This is a good album, but when compared to Noir Désir's other material, it seems clear that they were still searching for themselves. It has some very strong tracks, musically speaking, but the lyrics and the overall result are somewhat lacking of a soul, as if the band itself wasn't satisfied, or perhaps not inspired.
AllMusic Review by Alex S. Garcia