Autour de Lucie Faux Movement

Autour de Lucie have always been Nettwerk's least conventional signing. Their previous two albums of jangly French pop music didn't get the attention they deserved; people were more concerned with when the next Sarah McLachlan record was going to turn up. And while that probably wasn't the motivation, their third album sees some changes for the band. This time round, the production is lusher and the songs sound a lot richer and more sophisticated. That alone would make Faux Movement worth listening to, but there are also some other changes that take the band into trip-hop territory. There is less reliance on guitars than ever before, with the sound veering towards electronica instead. And when guitars show up from time to time, it comes as a bit of a surprise. Many of the songs are driven along by varied drum loops that lurk in the background and never interfere with Valerie Leulliot's vocals - the delicate balance is handled almost perfectly. The majority of the album is dreamy and atmospheric, but it could never be called quiet because there is usually all kinds of keyboard blips and bleeps. Autour de Lucie's evolution as a band might have changed the way that they sound, but the end result is as classy as ever. Faux Movement should reward both those who find it and the record company's patience. (Nettwerk)