Yours truly got to know Ryon, a band from the South West of France, two years ago when they released their acclaimed album debut 'Rêver'. On that album we were mostly struck by two things: firstly, the fact we were finally dealing with a French band putting the language of Molière first again, and second, that even though musically the songs on 'Rêver' were beyond reproach, the content of the tracks clearly outweighed the music. For successor 'Zéphyr', the band fortunately left this recipe unaltered. In the title track, the band bids the listener welcome to their home planet, a place of peace and tranquility: "Je t'invite sur ma planète, ici pas de prise de tête, bienvenue sur Zéphyr, terre de tous les plaisirs!" (loosely translated: "I'm inviting you to visit my planet, a land of pleasure, welcome on Zéphyr, land of pleasure!"). 'Gaia' is an ode to our own planet, a place we pretend to love but seem determined to destroy: "Gaia quand tu me prends dans tes bras, je n'ai plus peur, je me sens si bien près de toi. Pourquoi tes enfants ne voient-ils pas que bientôt viendra le jour où tu reprandras tes droits?" ("Gaia when you take me in your arms, I fear no more, because you make me feel safe when I'm close to you. Why do your children fail to see, that soon you'll claim your rightful place once more?"). For 'Zéphyr' Ryon also invited a number of guests: thanks to the presence of Franco-Senegalese singer Lidiop you'll hear some English in 'People', and for 'Douce France' the band introduced even more African influences by inviting the excellent Kanazoé Orchestra. 'Combien' is another track with a nod to the African continent; at least to Ivorian reggae veteran Alpha Blondy, as for the lyrics of the song excerpts from his megahit 'Jerusalem' were used. 'Carpe Diem', make the most of your life and seize the day, is featured in the track list twice, both in an acoustic and a regular version, but we were more taken with 'Histoire', pondering why mankind is so hell-bent on seeing history repeat itself, without learning from our mistakes, and the hopeful closing track 'Destin': all is still possible, as the future is promised to no one. If you're looking for solid reggae with a message, please consider yourself welcome on 'Zéphyr'!