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Mona Lisa - L'Escapade CD (album) cover

L'ESCAPADE

Mona Lisa

 

Symphonic Prog

3.55 | 37 ratings

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apps79
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The 70's french progressive rock scene could be split in two groups: In the first one we meet the symphonic/fusion side of these bands- best example could be considered CARPE DIEM-, while in the second one we have to deal with the GENESIS-influenced symphonic rock played by bands like ANGE...MONA LISA belong to the second group of bands and appeared in the prog world around 1973 with the album ''L'escapade''...

The year of the release doesn't leave any doubts about the influences of the band...First of all come GENESIS who have influenced the whole french symphonic prog scene and their music style was something like a guide for such french bands.Secondly it is obvious that the band had already listened to ANGE'S music.ANGE had already released their debut ''Caricatures'' a year earlier and MONA LISA' style is quite similar to ANGE's.Personally I find that this band is also influenced by italian prog bands like PFM or BANCO as some atmospheric intros or darker passages are reminiscent of those bands...

Musically speaking,everything in this album seems to unfold around the uinique voice and performace of Dominique LeGuennec...but that's what it seems and not what happens.This album really contains some very good musicianship.Of course LeGuennec is the main figure of the album,he doesn't have an excellent voice,but his theatrical and sometimes dramatic singing is something that doesn't go unnoticed.His performance is very strong but sometimes he overdoes it with his excessive singing,screaming or laughing...Peter Gabriel seems like a lamb in front of him,if you know what I mean.Noone can accuse him for this type of singing cause' that seems to be part of the lyrics and apart from that I really like that type of music/vocals alternation...

Hey,there is also some music here...and it's great!What I really love in this album is the great analog keyboard sound and work of Jean-Paul Persion.Sometimes it's dark,sometimes rhythmic and other times it's hypnotic,excellent work.LeGuennec contributes himself in the music especially with his flute,which mainly sounds very close to early GENESIS but a few times he also takes over like Ian Anderson in JETHRO TULL.Great work also by Christian Gallas and Gilles Solves in the guitars with nice mellow Anthony Phillips-like passages or Hackett-ish melodic solos!The result is generally over- decent,but it must be added that the album suffers from a bad old-aged production which steps the effort a level down,LeGuennec's voice covers almost everything when he takes over...

If you like symphonic prog with dramatic singing don't hesitate and search for this album,it's a must have for you...I had a really good time listening to this album and I'll rate it with 3.5 stars...

apps79 | 3/5 |

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