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Mets Ta Langue

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Album Review

In 1995 singer/saxophonist Joane Hétu released a CD titled Castor et Compagnie, which premiered her new avant rock formation, the first after the dissolution of Justine. The title was promoted to the status of band name and the follow-up Mets Ta Langue (Put Your Tongue) was thus billed to both Hétu and Castor et Compagnie. This second offering persists in erotic themes, but this time incorporates more free improvisation and a more acoustic, warmer sound overall. The album's magnum opus, the three-part "Beauté," a reflection on the fact that beauty doesn't always have to be beautiful, may very well be Hétu's finest moment as a composer. The piece draws from sensual rhythms, avant rock riffs, and vocal parts from all four musicians to form one of the best tracks released on an Ambiances Magnétiques record in the late '90s. "Dans la Joie l'Amour" has a strange vocal leitmotif uttered by percussionist Pierre Tanguay throughout, over which ephemeral melodies are layered. The album ends on "Ta Manière," another very strong piece, sensual but also angular in the Justine tradition, an eight-minute epic. Of course, Hétu's voice is still a case of love-it-or-hate-it and, paradoxically, she is more convincing when using extended techniques then when she plainly sings, but the album also showcases the voices of Tanguay, saxophonist Jean Derome, and keyboardist Diane Labrosse (who regularly graced some Justine and Wondeur Brass songs). Mets Ta Langue is impressively mature work and a delight for the aficionado of avant-garde songwriting. Strongly recommended. ~ François Couture, Rovi


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Saxophonist, singer, improviser, composer, and record label manager Joane Hétu ranks among the pillars of the Montreal avant-garde music scene revolving around the collective Ambiances Magnétiques. A small but very stubborn woman, she made a career for herself starting out of nowhere at age 19, to become a successful businesswoman and a vocalist with a very distinctive style. She has recorded...
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Mets Ta Langue, Joane Hétu
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