CD Cover Autour de Lucie

Review by Darren Gawle

45-second excerpt from "Sur Tes Pas" (various formats)

First the Ids, and now this; what are Nettwerk aiming for, a hat trick? [ed. add in By Divine Right's latest, and they may have it...] Sure, France's Autour de Lucie have that homogenized Lilith-friendly sound Nettwerk is (in)famous for, but it's quite the musical equivalent of a foreign film: the plots are the same, but the little slice-of-life details about how other cultures think (in a musical sense, anyhow) make it all worthwhile in the end.

Autour de Lucie's songwriting is a Cranes kind of affair, without as much atmospherics or helium in the vocals, and the group does exhibit a welcome amount of control over the organic tension in their melodies, kickoff single "Sur Tes Pas" being the best example of this. "La Verité (Sur Ceux Qui Mentent)" succeeds in spite of its cheesy title -- "The Truth (About Those Who Lie)" -- by re-visiting the Boo Radleys circa Everything's Alright Forever.

All comparisons are approximate, though, and that's the best part of Immobile. It sounds familiar enough not to alienate the anglophone listener, and exotic enough for reasons beyond simply the foreign language content. The song arrangements exhibit certain flamenco sensibilities, and ultimately the only thing you can put the vibe down to is, well, it's so European.

It remains to be seen as to whether Autour de Lucie, along with fellow countrymen Air, are precipitating a limited 'French invasion' -- but as long as it sounds this good, who's complaining?

[Hidden Track Alert: after a thoroughly unnecessary remixé of "Chanson Sans Issue (Ne Voix Tu Pas)," stay tuned for a forty-five second sound-bite which sounds like the between-song loops which glued My Bloody Valentine's Tremolo EP together.]

First published in Drop-D Magazine on February 22, 1998

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