A Sparrow - Grass Hunt - Le Journal du Dormeur - 2004


Beautiful, perhaps too beautiful, album released by this French trio formed by Julien Ash (piano, electronics, synths, vocals), Pierre Yves Lebeau (synths, bass, acoustic guitar, vocals) and the Dutch girl Liesbeth Houdijk (vocals), accompanied by Rosalie Hartog (violin), Olivier Vitry (percussion), Cyril Herry (sound sculptures (¿?)), and Aurore (vocals).


The album, that could be translated as “The Sleeper´s Diary” pretends to be a sort of collection of musical illustrations of authentic dreams. In all seventeen dreams plus an intro impossible to be reviewed in depth because they share elements in common.

Definitely this album is slow, paused, evocative, melancholic, sad, with piano melodies that gently melts along the whole CD. Perhaps the correct term is “very French”, with that heartrending beauty of French chanson not suitable for prolonged use unless you want to commit suicide, join up Foreign Legion, or buy the whole Edith Piaf´s discography.

Exceptions to the tone of the album are in tracks like “Hyperdelic” (5:48), also with a decadent flavor thanks to strings arrangements and violin, but also more uninhibited, and more experimental tracks such as the hypnotic “Le Marbre” (2:40), “Le Silence sous les Fondations” (3:54), or “La Bete” (3:26).

Really I can´t say anymore. The album has a crystal clear sound and contains lots of beauty, but this beauty here is too ethereal to be enjoyed by mortal souls. Perhaps, as the promo sheet states, it´s an album that creates the soundtrack of a cloudy night. In a different way I have the feeling that the listening will be very hard and it´ll be the typical “very-beautiful-but-I-only-listen-to-this-album-once-a-year”.


If you like soundtracks, music with high doses of romanticism, or you consider yourselves bohemians from head to toe, perhaps you´ll love this album. If you think you´re not represented in the aforementioned categories, I´d recommend a previous listening, just in case, because Anthony Phillips is Chuck Berry in comparison. You are warned.

author - date - rating - label

Alfonso Algora - May 2004 -   - Musea