I don't understand a word of French but this album never fails to move me on a deep emotional level. Unlike their other albums that I'm familiar with, the mood here is uplifting without the usual undertones of sadness. Every song is great, but my favourites are Entre Lajeunesse ..., Complainte pour St. Catherine, Excursion a Venise (with its references to St Frances of Assisi), En filant ma qenouille. Heavenly harmonies, addictive melodies, this music is a burst of happiness and heartfelt joy. If I knew French, I would sing along as I listened!
on 20 November 2009
I bought this record because I knew some of the songs, Complainte pour Ste Cathérine, Une excursion à Vénise and Entre la jeunesse et la sagesse and I wanted to hear more. I'm not really a folk fan, but the combination of the beautiful harmonies with the French lyrics create a great atmosphere.
I don't understand a word of French but this album always moves me on a deep emotional level. Unlike their other work that I'm familiar with the mood here is uplifting, mostly lacking the usual melancholy undertones. Every song is great, but my favorites are the slow Entre Lajeunesse et La Sagesse - about a street in Montreal, the lilting Complainte Pour St. Catherine - another street in the same city, Excursion a Venise, about a courtship in a string of small towns, and En Filant Ma Qenouille.
There are tender ballads like Cheminant a La Ville and uptempo rhythmic tracks like the aforementioned Excursion to Venice and the buoyant La Belle S'est Etourdie. The instrumentation is a mix of traditional and folk/rock that includes accordion, banjo, fiddle, harmonica, horns, organ, mandolin, piano, drums, bass, electric and acoustic guitars. With its heavenly harmonies and compelling melodies this music is like a burst of happiness and heartfelt joy. If I knew French, I would sing along as I listened.
on 10 April 2011
This is an album I've bought several times, given it as a gift to friends, and re-bought it again for myself. It's not just 'folk', it's not just 'french songs' - the sisters mostly sang in English, I believe - it's uniquely Kate and Anna performing brilliantly in their 'other' language. (They're Canadian).
There's a special poetry to their lyrics that comes out whether you speak french or not. I speak a bit and adore their crafting of words in both languages. A little quirkyness sometimes creeps in, with songs like "Entre La Jeunesse et La Sagesse", for instance, where the chorus seems to say, "between youth and old age there is a metro stop, 2 repair shops, a handyman and a poster of Brigitte Bardot - between youth and old age..." But I think I'd have to let you find out why for yourselves - don't like to take the fun out of surprises.
And I love the sadness and poignancy of "Prends ton manteau" (Take your coat - your shoes, your worries, stroll slowly in the sleeping morning...) But done in quite an upbeat way with an interesting combination of acoustic instruments and excellent harmony. So, what could be just sad becomes uplifting. - Later named "Pronto Monto" by, I believe, English speaking recording engineers.