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Malajube's third 


Malajube's third album starts off with mystic "Moonlight Sonata"-like keyboards on "Ursuline," a seven-minute epic about the historic Quebecois order of nuns. Labyrinthes quickly delves into a miasma of dark religious references, positioned against a background of dreamy, ethereal pop music. Think spiritual labyrinths rather than David Bowie; actually, think both cathedrals and David Bowie. Most tracks start off with a lullaby quality before delving into a somewhat muted version of earlier recordings. It's a similar sort of mystic, skeptical romanticizing of the spectre of Catholicism that haunts Quebec and its young atheists, as portrayed in Arcade Fire's 2007 Neon Bible. Malajube is still unabashedly French-Canadian and the wealth of Quebecois and Catholic mysticism alluded to in the lyrics unfortunately has gotten lost on many foreign reviewers. It's also been lost a little in the music, which is more settled, less catchy and danceable than 2006's Trompe L'Oeil, which merited them a Polaris Prize nomination. Though they've matured thematically and musically, I could do with a little more of the snarky, irreverent attitude of Trompe-L'Oeil. Either way, it's a well-crafted set of songs. Hopefully Malajube keeps stubbornly singing French lyrics to anglophone audiences who can't even remember the days of the week in our other official language.

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