Aventuriere Accidentelle - Danielle Hebert

Dark Horse

If she wasn't so gifted musically, Danielle would surely be writing Sci-Fi/Fantasy novels. The 'Cosmic Chanteuse' who concocted The Alien Suite, an outer space look at our inner insecurities is back with an even more imaginative theme for the album, Aventuriere Accidentelle. Here's the Coles Notes version; A girl is flying across Saskatchewan when a storm crashes the plane, but the prairie has become ocean and as she struggles against drowning she finds herself surrounded by sirens, sharks, sea creatures and Neptune himself. After fainting cold she awakens on a deserted beach where her real adventure begins in the company of forest elves, a giant spider and other monsters under Danielle's bed. One has to be impressed by the level of sophistication and unbridled experimentation on this disc. Even the alluring cover graphics are exquisitely tasteful and elegant. Danielle and virtuoso jazz clarinetist, Francois Houle must have had a wonderful time with the interludes between the chapters. I also love the little choral flourishes sprinkled throughout the tracks which reminded me of the Wizard Of Oz or some old movie for some reason. The crisp, contemporary percussion treatments on Dites-Moi and the title track are very 'now' and ground the disc in the moment, though at other points, Danielle allows herself to fall back in time to the French chanson-style (Prospere) or the mystic with flavors of Tibetan bowls or bells and other ethnic touches. The Adventure never gets too crazy for the uninitiated. As I listened I came to appreciate when a familiar but gratifying simple three-chord progression emerged out of the mélange. It's like surfacing to catch another breath before you dive back in. Again, it impresses me that these subtleties can be pre-meditated and craftily designed. I suspect Danielle Hebert's opus is less Accidental than the title might suggest. It is wonderfully inventive and engaging.