The French Progressives
Lazuli-Tant que l’herbe est grasse
Genre: Progressive World Music
Label: L’abeille rôde
Best Track: Tristes Moités
When one thinks of progressive rock France might not be the first country that comes to mind. World music might be more closely connected to the heirs of Charlemagne. That is not to say that progressive rock is an anomaly amongst the French, acts like Marillion, Gazpacho and Fish remain popular, the latter is even a guest vocalist on this album.
The strength when it comes to progressive rock is that the music itself is the main focus and this is where Lazuli really shines. They sing in French and yet, as this may seem as a downside when it comes to international appeal, the language lends itself well to the genre.
Lazuli takes the style of progressive rock and expertly blends it with the dimensions of world music, while also giving it a mystic and dark edge reminiscent of a darker version of Woodland. The band immerses itself in the mysticism of world music as the artwork of their album and images on the homepage would indicate, maybe giving a false idea of the band’s sound. The imagery gives an air of more advanced musicality than they actually possess.
Lazuli fit well into the growing pantheon of progressive rock and they take it in a different direction than many other bands. If one enjoys the introductory folksy tunes of Opeth’s Heritage or the lilting piano playing of Coheed and Cambria’s intros, then these french garçons are definitely a treat. The production is clean and the sound soothing, the lead vocalist’s voice is nicely in harmony with the music, the lyrics are a mystery to anyone not fluent in french, but those in the know claim that they are filled with wordplay and puns.
Lazuli takes the listener on an exciting and mystical journey, a world close to our own, the magic woods or the misty fields outside our window on a spring morning. They have taken the magic of nature and translated it inot music. It’s a wondrous and seductive journey that you might not want to leave.