Well, the Mineau twins are back again. Julien and Francis and the other two guys who look like they should be brothers, are Malajube. In their young existence they’ve become quite epic; really the only French-singing band in Montreal that any of us English-only losers pay attention to.

What makes Malajube albums ultimately worth their purchases (or in this case, their being stolen from Le Délit), is the fact that they always stay in some way true to their concepts. In 2004, their debut, Le Compte Complet came out and offered Quebec the cute, “love me love me” side of Malajube’s songwriting. Most of the songs on the album were hardly anything more than synthy-pop vignettes, but their multiple voices and episodic buoyancy was also bookended with “L’introduction” and “Le Conclusion”. So if they hadn’t constructed “the full account” of anything in particular, they at least got the chance to sing about Sexy Robots.
Trompe-L’oeil is a step back and two steps forward in the other direction. The first time I listened to this record, I thought, “Wow, that sounds a lot like their last one.” The next time, I thought, “that doesn’t sound anything like their last one.” The third time, I fell asleep and woke up with a tummy ache.
Eerily enough, with Trompe-L’oeil, Malajube has created a concept album all about maladies (just like mine!). Every song corresponds either formally or by its content to a specific medical condition, and it adds a dark complexity to the seemingly simple and optimistic pop tunes. This, I gather, is Malajube’s “trompe-l’oeil”, their trick of the eye (because their cute, pastel artwork certainly is not). This collection of songs is mystical and deep and should not be taken at face value.
“Casse-Cou” is musically schizophrenic as it jumps around from a sombre, contemplative tone to apocolyptic metal and then to a Clashy punk-reggae character. Rightfully so, as it is lyrically accompanied by a one-sided conversation between Satan and Jesus. “Étienne D’aout” on the other hand, is a heartfelt ballad about the death of a loved one. They play all over the place in Quebec, hehe check out their tour dates page, they play towns I don’t think exist. And check out their hair.

Le Metronome (MP3)
Montreal -40c (MP3)
Buy Trompe-L’oeil:

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