The trio Aurélia is Aurélie Dorzée on violin, alto saxophone and kazoo, Tom Theuns on vocals, acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo and harmonium, and Stephan Pougin on percussions and vibraphone. On Festina Lente they offer a record of extremes. The excellent opening, title track could be a signature song for a BBC Hercule Poirot series or a theme in the film Gosford Park . Its happy/sad combination and its admonition to "make haste slowly" are the signature of an ensemble who takes things at their own humane pace. The accompanying video for the song is sweet and adds an extra level to understanding.
The rest of the record is a bit more esoteric. At times they seem to be a little too self-reflective for their own good, too much involved in their own private world to allow us to share in their magic. But when Aurélia let their hair down and pick up their unhasty rhythm, things begin to fall into place. Witness "Auguste," "Selon Mr Grumaux" or the second half of "Tharoul 2" as an example of this. Or follow "Emportez-moi," with a winning oriental touch and its companion piece, " La Descente ," to see where they can go.
A majority of tracks work but this is a hit-and-miss recording; sometimes the line between the former and the latter is very thin. The more focused the band is, the better. When they play it tight - zeroed in on clear melodic lines and interacting with each other as a group - their songs work perfectly. When they verge off on solos or take an intellectual jazz path, their magic starts to disappear, replaced by a brainy cacophony. But overall, this is a trio with great chemistry, a great sound and a solid future.
Nondas Kitsos, RootsWorld Bulletin #363, USA, 24 augustus 2006