Raôul Duguay

L' Envol

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Released a year after Raôul Duguay's debut solo album, L'Envol shifts the emphasis toward acoustic rock and folk. André Angelini, who arranged and co-wrote most of the music, uses acoustic and 12-string guitars extensively, taking the singer's songs away from the prog rock stylings found in Alllô Tôulmônd to bring them closer to early Harmonium. The spirit of progressive rock remains, though, as the ten-minute title track testifies. Ambitious, it suffers a bit from poor bridges between sections. The album highlight is "Marlô," the naïve but touching story of a bird shot in mid-flight, cooked, and eaten. The singer urges it to "give him [the eater] a gift/Change him in a little bird." Duguay puts in his voice all the pathos he is capable of in this song. "Ballade pour Noémimadam" and "La Solitude" are much more forgettable. "La Parôlll" makes a great rock song, a hymn to speaking one's mind that includes a touch of "turlutte" echoing the singer's 1975 hit, "La Bittt à Tibi." Apart from that song and the two-part "Le Krrrash" (split between the end of side A and the beginning of side B), L'Envol is surprisingly soft-spoken and listener-friendly. Not as memorable as his previous album, it is still better than the disconcerting M.

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