Exposé Online banner

Sens — Les Regrets d'Isidore D.
(Mellow MMP 370, 1999, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2000-10-01

Les Regrets d'Isidore D. Cover artIt took me a little while to warm up to Sens, but once I did, I found myself listening over and over again. The first thing a listener notices about the band is the dramatic singing of Pascal Bouquillard, the lush array of keyboard sounds, and the melodic lead guitar, but what hooked me in the end was the drumming of Stéphane Geille, strong and inventive, full of subtle rhythmic flourishes. The arrangements feature many atmospheric touches courtesy, I suppose, of Vyncent, credited for “every single funny sound or noise you will like.” Comparisons with Ange are inevitable, and it’s not just the fact that it’s progressive rock with French lyrics. The sense of dynamics is similar, the knack they have for taking a long piece and building tension, releasing it, and building it again. Luckily Ange’s warbly organ is nowhere to be heard. The seven tracks range in length from “Sagesse” at a little over two minutes to the 24-minute “La Bête du Gévaudan.” My favorites are the opener, “Marthe à la Niut,” which goes from a quiet string synth intro to a beautiful twin guitar lead to a cooking riff in seven, and “Jeu de Patience,” which provides some of the most aggressive playing on the disc. Vocalist Bouquillard has an impressive range and a highly dramatic delivery, not something you can have in the background and half-listen to. He plays bass, and shares guitar and keyboard duties with the aforementioned Vyncent and Benoît Campedel. It’s been a long time since a French prog band caught my attention, but Sens could be a long-term fave if they keep putting out albums as good as this one.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 20, 1999 releases

Related artist(s): Saens (Sens)

Latest news

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Steve Hackett - Tribute – During the last decade many British rock musicians either went classic or strengthened their classical roots: examples range from Jon Lord to Roger Waters, from Mike Oldfield to Sting. Steve...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues