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Garolou - Romancero CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

3.03 | 12 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
3 stars The dark forces of punk and new wave of the early 1970s were crowding out folk rock acts like GAROLOU, the resurgence of the genre under the auspices of bands like the POGUES and the WATERBOYS was still a few years off. It is thus not surprising that their third disk, released at the dawn of the 1980s, received less attention than its predecessors. It didn't help that it was also somewhat less inspired.

The compositions and arrangements are generally not as ambitious, but, if one explores more objectively, 3 tracks are prime prog folk, rivaling the best of earlier output: the heavy and atmospheric "Nicholas", the ominous epic "D'ou reviens-tu mon fils Jacques", and its apt successor "Le Condamne". Unfortunately none of them received their due, probably because the airplay outlets had vanished, and the album's most popular tracks, while thoroughly competent and, in the case of "Sur le Bout du Pont", quite refreshing, were concessions to the era, furthering the group's decline. I am also torn about the way in which the album ends, with the firing squad at the end of "Le Condamne". On the one hand, it's commendable that they continued to explore sober historical matters, but what a downer, especially when the album offers a good deal of lighter fare. Among these are the suave lightly jazzy "Dans Paris" and the live Cajun-tinged "La Danse de La Limonade". While the breadth of fare is eclectic, saving the best for last, where the best is so dire in subject matter, might not have been the canny choice.

"Romancero" proved to be the penultimate album of GAROLOU's initial run, and the last of interest to prog folk audiences. Guardedly recommended as a fling rather than an extended courtship.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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