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Ce que l'on sème

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Album Review

Tryo's steady rise to popular and critical acclaim reached its peak with the band's excellent third album Grain de Sable back in 2003. A couple of live releases followed, but five years elapsed before the quartet returned with a new set of originals, 2008's Ce Que l'On Seme. For a band formed in 1998, that long vacation represents half of their career, including two full sabbatical years without touring (for members to invest in other projects). Clearly, having accomplished all of their original goals (probably beyond their dreams, too), Tryo felt unsure about where to go next, or were afraid of repeating themselves. An acoustic reggae band with ironic lyrics about French society and politics, a good deal of Tryo's success was its novelty appeal, but they were also dangerously close to being considered a one-trick pony. So it was perhaps a wise decision to sit still for a while, if not to find a new direction. Ce Que l'On Seme discreetly succeeds on both counts: it went number one in France and it incorporates new elements into the characteristic Tryo sound. Almost logically for a band that has always embraced the causes of multi-ethnic society and global ecology, Tryo look to world music to broaden their musical horizons, most notably to West Africa ( "Ce Que l'On Sème"), Cameroon ("Ça Tombe Mal" featuring Sally Niolo), India ( "Abdallah"), and South America ("El Dulce de Leche"). For all their efforts, the album's best moments often turn out to be the good old reggae numbers, such as the first single "Toi et Moi," or the response to Sarkozy's new labor laws "Travailler Plus." While it may not be as much instant fun as their youthful offerings, the more mature Ce Que l'On Seme is a very good Tryo album, one that manages to expand their signature sound while still remaining immediately recognizable.


Formed: 1995

Genre: French Pop

Years Active: '00s

Formed in 1995 by friends Manu Eveno (called simply Manu) and Cyril Celestin (called Guizmo), who had previously played together in other bands, Tryo got their name after Christophe Mali (who went by his last name) joined. The group wrote reggae-inspired music for three guitars and voices (though Manu also played various reed instruments and Mali played accordion and keyboards), performing in festivals for a few years in order get their name out in their native France. Soon they met percussionist...
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Ce que l'on sème, Tryö
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