Tant Que L'Herbe Est Grasse
"Can it be possible that we've got to 2014 without me ever having heard a studio album by Lazuli? Yes, ladies and gents, that is possible, I can assure you. Whilst I vividly remember Lazuli live in Tilburg some years ago in 2007 at the Symforce Festival and actually finding them making a huge impression with their live performance, I simply never got around to either buying nor listening to their studio albums. Shame on me for not doing so. More so as I now fully realise what I have been missing in music for quite some years. What a joy it was to hear the Lazuli sound again and now on a new album as well.
For days Tant Que L'Herbe Est Grasse has been spinning its rounds in many CD players, be it in the car, at work or on my home system. Opener Déraille with its environmentally engaged lyrics gets on its way with a fine rhythm and very varied sounds and immediately draws you deep, deep into the world that is Lazuli's. I must add that Dominique Leonetti's passionate singing and the way his vocal lines, to these ears, are almost an instrument in their own right set them apart from many other bands. It may just be that you get drawn to listening to the lyrics even more and try to understand them that much better.
Une Pente Qu'On Devale has the slightest bit of a Marillion vibe that reminds me a wee bit of the feel of their semi-acoustic tracks like Man Of A Thousand Faces, yet this is more modern and Lazuli rock out towards the end. There's also some fine, fine soloing in there too.
Homo Sapiens just grabs you. It's more ballsy and reminds a bit of Riverside whereas the second half of the song tips its hat to latter day Fish, that is before the band start again and we get a fine Léode solo. The Fish vibe also appears to shine through on Tristes Moitiés and L'Essence Des Odyssées, yet it is not that these songs make Lazuli sound a 100% like everyone's favourite Scotsman; not at all, yet there is a comparison in sound that, to me, flows back to the Raingods with Zippos days. Fish himself features on J'Ai Trouvé Ta Faille where he gets to sing in the second part of the song. Another fine song on this very fine album, but there is plenty more to hear before we actually get to that one, the eighth song on the album.
What Lazuli have delivered here is an album rich in sound and where all band members get to shine, be it individually yet moreover in how much this album is a band effort. On first listen you might find that the songs are just songs, but their build has more to them than appears on first listen. This is an album that grows each and every time you hear it. There are parts that are prog, world music, folk rock, storming out and out rocking moments and they are all brought together in this album. As I once more listen to Tristes Moitiés Lazuli again fully draw me into their realm. What is it that makes albums present themselves as ever growing in beauty? The textures, the soloing, the intricate drum and percussion parts that get to you more and more with each and every listening session. I dare say that this album has all that and, as already mentioned, there is the great singing!
Multicolèlere, a play on the words "multicoloured anger", speeds things up once more and shows a heavier Lazuli. This whole song very much gets to me and perhaps there's another bit of Riverside, but let's just cut to the chase; this band sounds every inch like Lazuli should. And there is only one way to find that out for the not yet initiated and that is to just go and listen to this fine gem of an album. Don't think you can do like me and miss out on one of the finest prog bands around - why should you? You'd be missing out on real beauty. And yes, listen to this album all the way through, you won’t find that hard at all as J'Ai Trouvé Ta Faille is another beauty as is the closing song, Les Courants Ascendants, the only song to reach beyond the 6 minute mark. But count that as an asset that Lazuli have to their songwriting; they succeed in writing compact songs that are all very varied throughout the album." - DPRP.net