Éric Lapointe

Ma Peau

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Riding high since the mid-'90s, rocker Éric Lapointe is known for a harder-edged sound than the majority of the material that finds its way onto the Quebecois charts. On Ma Peau (My Skin), he goes for a darker sound, even within his realm of rock. The guitars largely stomp along, seeming not to care hugely about the song at hand as much as the album as a whole. They slow down for the ballads, but still rely entirely upon power chords. At the same time, Lapointe rarely removes the innate growl from his vocals, shouting his lines in an almost asynchronous way in many of the songs. Like many of the vocalists from Quebec, there's still a strong touch of melodrama in Lapointe's delivery. In a rock format, though, it comes out as more Meat Loaf than Celine Dion, but it's still melodramatic. Fans of Lapointe should be thrilled by the album -- it includes all of the forms that have made Lapointe a star, with a bit of updating to fit his continuing development. Newcomers may find the album a bit over the top for modern habits, but they can't deny that Lapointe is putting his heart in it.

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