The three Frenchmen in Jelly Fiche may not sing in English, but their music speaks the universal language of progressive rock.
With a flair for the dramatic and the psychedelic, not to mention a fierce allegiance to Pink Floyd, Yes and King Crimson, Jelly Fiche have made one of the most memorable prog albums of the year – and I can't understand a damn word sung by vocalist Syd. Yes, it's just "Syd," whose unassuming name is perfect for his emotive Everyman vocals (which are often based on lyrics penned by French-Canadian poet Guy Marchamps). Stunning musicianship helps the Canadian band move from the symphonic to the avant-garde in the midst of the same (long) song – nine tracks span 63 minutes – and an exotic saxophone, especially on the title track and "Les Arbres," lifts Tout ce que j'ai reve far above similar-sounding albums. Each player brings multiple styles to the music, making this seem like the work of significantly more than three men. Gary Tanin, whose resume includes Daryl Stuermer and Roger Powell, mastered Tout ce que j'ai reve to sound lush, edgy and seductive.
Unicorn Digital is promoting this as a concept album that echoes Seventies-era Quebec bands such as Maneige and Harmonium. But it's clear that Jelly Fiche is intent on making retro prog for a new generation. Mission accomplished, as this band has recorded one of the genre's best albums of 2008.
1) Tout ce que j'ai revé
2) Les Arbres
3) Caché au Fond plus Haut
4) Source Infinie
5) In Vitro
6) Dans la Peau d'un Autre I
7) Dans la Peau d'un Autre II
8) La Fontaine
9) La Cage des Vautours/Liberté