CANO, the Franco-Ontarian group from Sudbury, has changed the focus of its music and language—from folk to rock and French to English—so many times that even the group’s closest fans have become bewildered. Now, CANO has issued an all-French album, Visible, but the chaos has taken its toll, and the quality of the material is uneven. “Pauline” begins as a touching ballad about two lovers separated by war, but a cheerily sung chorus soon shatters the tragic mood. The title song offers more mood shifts than most complete albums, but the track’s inventiveness strays. Still, in “Fond d’une bouteille (Bottom of the Bottle)” an alcoholic’s desperation provides some dramatic imagery, and “J’ai bien vécu (I Lived Well)” shines with Michael Kendel’s fluid piano style and Marcel Aymar’s lilting vocals. Such rewards do not make up for the artistic momentum CANO has lost over the years.
Originally published in Maclean's 25 February 1985