Already announced in the liner notes for Soyez Vigilants... Restez Vivants in 1986, Le Retour Des Granules (The Return of the Kernels) came out in 1987, consecrating the duo's moniker in its title, even though the album was billed to Jean Derome and René Lussier (their third, Au Royaume Du Silencieux, would be released under the name Les Granules). This second effort is more focused than its predecessor and somewhat crazier. Not a single dull moment here. The album's highlight is the rockiest tune any of them ever wrote, "Nombril/Fusil" (Navel/Rifle), which contains lyrics such as: "The other day I saw a punk with black bread/My body's all wrapped up in cloth/My body's, like, chemical/It's three-dimensional/I also have a cage." The album also presents another pre-album version of a piece from Derome's cycle Confitures de Gagaku (Soyez Vigilants also had one) and one of Lussier's earliest attempts at using transcribed speech as a melody ("Le Corps d'Étienne"), a technique that would become the backbone of his seminal album Le Trésor de la Langue. Other highlights include the typically musique actuelle nine-minute suite "Les Aventures de Sacha l'Chat" (The Adventures of Sacha the Cat) and the horribly (intentionally!) cheesy 60s French-Canadian crooner-like ballad "Si Tu T'Ennuies Du Temps" (If You Long for a Time), a cynical view on Quebec's religious past. Derome and Lussier combined post-modern seriousness with counter-cultural irreverence and European humor. Le Retour Des Granules is all that and more. The LP was packaged with liner notes and lyrics in both French and English. The LP's identifying labels were stuck on the wrong side and the cover's back was printed upside down.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by François Couture