No, I have no idea what she’s singing about. Sure, I can glean a few details here and there throughout the album, but my unparalleled powers of deduction have determined that Lisa LeBlanc doesn’t need to be understood to be enjoyed. So much attention is paid to whether lyrics stand out, but since the (majority of) her lyrics are in French, I wouldn’t know either way. What I do know, however, is that Lisa knows exactly how an excellent folk-rock album should sound.
For some reason, Lisa labeled this album “folk trash” on her Bandcamp page. While a seemingly negative term, it strangely fits the context of the music (the same way that the term “grunge” so properly explained its specific brand of rock from the 90s). The album’s Americana feel saturates each track, complemented by Lisa’s vociferous howls and signature yells – all of which are showcased in the more upbeat, alt-country pieces.
Where Lisa truly shines, however, is in her slow-paced songs. These are the pieces in which Lisa sings with only her guitar, or alongside sparse instrumentals. By leaving out a greater portion of the instruments, Lisa allows her vocal work to breathe – a spectacle that shouldn’t be skipped. Her voice is utterly breathtaking… and it’s difficult not to be blown away by her range and ability to sustain the notes she does. This doesn’t even begin to describe her penchant for crafting melodies that get lodged in your head for days.
Lisa LeBlanc sounds as though it were crafted in the wild west, even though I’m constantly reminding myself that the lyrics are in another language. On numerous occasions I’ve caught myself singing along, though I have absolutely no idea what I’m saying. English words are strewn about the album, but only sparsely.
Such a phenomenon makes me ponder the fact that the past decades of popular music has been dominated by English speakers. This has likely helped the language to reach the ubiquity it has, though this album shows that the seemingly “absolute” rule that good music must contain English lyrics isn’t absolute in the slightest.
Lisa LeBlanc has put her best foot forward on this album, and deserves praise for keeping it consistently accessible. If you can be at peace with not knowing what the heck she’s saying (or even better, know some French), this album will make for some of the best folk-rock you’ll hear for some time.
Take a listen to my home-brewed instrumental/electronic/indie album
"Where Were We When" and download it for as many coconuts as you can spare.
Coconuts are delicious, though their milk tastes like pond water.