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Maneige - Les Porches CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.30 | 299 ratings

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4 stars Maneige's second album is by many considered their best, largely on the strength of the first side-long composition ('Les porches de Notre-Dame') and the short piece that begins side 2 ('La grosse torche'). I also like this album, but I myself like their debut album better. The first half of the title track here is similar in some ways to Le Rafiot from their first album, with a number of great emotive and playful themes played on flute and piano (but without the dissonant noises that begin Le Rafiot). However, instead of segueing effortlessly between sections, each of these are presented as separate pieces, with short spaces in between them (so, the long title track is actually made up of a series of shorter pieces. It works OK, but I have to admit I would have preferred more flow and continuity). As the title track continues, it adds more instrumentation, until the final 7 minutes which largely involve a guitar solo played over a chord progression that is (as another reviewer noted) not dissimilar to the end of Zeppelin's 'Stairway to Heaven'. I really like the music on the title track, but the Stairway to Heaven part to my mind takes away from piece, partly because the guitar player is no virtuoso and so this part is not sufficiently special (unlike their first album, where every composition is unique). It is on the second side of the album that the more jazz-influenced and Canterbury styles that would grace their subsequent albums first make their appearance. (the short "La grosse torche" is more like the title track though, and probably the most formal-sounding piece in Maneige's discography). I actually quite like "Les Adventures de Saxinette et Clarophone" and "Chromo" - very original pieces, again changing a lot, but with some highly musical sections. However, I am not sure the longer one ('Adventures') hangs together that well as a single piece. Not quite as memorable, although on the whole better than many of the pieces on their later albums. On the whole, this is also recommended - not quite as much as their debut - but nonetheless a classic Canadian album. I give it 8.3 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 4 PA stars.
Walkscore | 4/5 |


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