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La Tulipe Noire - Shattered Image  CD (album) cover

SHATTERED IMAGE

La Tulipe Noire

 

Neo-Prog

3.51 | 58 ratings

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The Prognaut
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The threshold to the new millennium beheld what was supposedly going to be one of the most revealing albums from one of the most representative newly born bands over the Mediterranean area. Without sounding outrageously relentless to your prog expectations or very evolutional on its argumentation, "Shattered Image" is certainly one of those albums that get to be absorbed by few musical fibers in your body only, letting the rest of your senses devour the whole concept.

Evidentially, this second production by the Greek band, was crafted upon the character once created by Derek DICK to be included on "Clutching at Straws" under the name of "Torch". As the irreplaceable lyricist from Edinburgh explained over the retrospective interview he agreed on to compile the reminiscences of the MARILLION he once was in charge, "the character (from "Clutching.") was named Torch and he was the novelist trying to create the follow up to a successful book and losing himself in the world of drink and drugs". "Shatter Image" is all that. The story of a young man living in a big city, somewhere in Europe. It was the story of his life, his problems and his hopes. And well, the front cover sort of gives away the whole idea pretty much. the peculiar scribbling reading LA TULIPE NOIRE which resembles the pictorial FISH era, the man in the raincoat, the pallidity and characteristic vivid images. Very Mark WILKINSON. So MARILLION.

And more than plagiarism, I think of this piece of work as a tribute to the "prog nouveau" (as FISH referred to the genre provocatively), band that lasted until 1989. The rest, I respectfully leave to the depths of history. Thus, "Shattered Image" is divided as proper, as the ancient Greek tragicomedies would suggestively lead, in three instrumental and sequential acts. Opening act, "A Glimpse On The Mirror"; climax, "Black Star Rising" and ending, "Looking At The Sunrise". The theatrical concept, as I just tried to explain to you vaguely, is pursued by the parallelism sustained on this young man's story. The endless inner search from within and the constant fight. Which is merely, the message of this concept album, the so cliché statement of "never give up". The lyrics to this production, are mainly condensed on a practical, circular thematic. Not forcefully elaborated, quite digestible and beautifully interpreted by the operatic voice of Ima. Strangely how, and leaving the ordinary aside, the female vocals are suitable for the full accompaniment along the simplicities the instruments propose for complete understanding and appreciation of the album.

Arguably, "The Haze" is the track that sets off the whole album, but there is so much more to be rescued from the entire running time, where pieces like "Shattered Ego" and "Through the Snake's Eyes", would filtrate the emotiveness and passion, keyboardist and songwriter Alix has between hands. Well-executed piano preludes will always dazzle anyone, and this album has got those and more, since I believe Mark KELLY and Martin ORFORD themselves would be surprised. So, before crossing out LA TULIPE NOIRE from your list due the "Marillion-ish" yet "IQ-ish" resemblances fiercely exposed here, try guiding those supposed drawbacks to the path of cohesion and deserved understanding this albums claims for. The reason I'm giving it three starts only, is sustained on the fact of me leaving the rest to you out there. Be the judges and decide whether "Shattered Image" has to go back where the meaningless rates gather or further on to the limits of glorious five starts. I widely recommend you get hands on this, you won't regret acting fearless to change and to satisfactory, fulfilling experiences.

The Prognaut | 3/5 |

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