Noir Désir was a favorite in the French underground scene for a number of years. When they finally released their first full-length album, Veuillez rendre l'âme (à qui elle appartient), they were lucky enough to use "Aux sombres héros de l'amer" ("To the Dark Heroes of Bitterness") as their first single. It was an instant hit and they suddenly became France's number one rock band. Oddly enough, this album is both their best to date and their most unusual. Unusual, because it combines a wide variety of genres from fast-paced tunes ("A l'arrière des taxis," "What I Need") to poetic ("Aux sombres héros de l'amer") and haunting melodies ("Le fleuve," "Sweet Mary") to ballads ("Joey I & II") and undescribable bursts of energy ("Apprends à dormir," "La chaleur"). It also includes three songs with English lyrics. The strength of Noir Désir lies in the band's incredible energy and, most of all, singer Bertrand Cantat's gift of writing poetic lyrics which often hold more than one meaning. Puns abound, as do political themes. You can feel throughout the album an urge to yell at the world, to let the anger flow out. A must for anyone wishing to discover French rock at its best.
AllMusic Review by Alex S. Garcia