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Pageant - La Mosaïque de la Rêverie CD (album) cover

LA MOSAÏQUE DE LA RÊVERIE

Pageant

 

Symphonic Prog

3.63 | 34 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

AdamHearst
5 stars Pageant's debut is one of the best Symphonic Prog albums of the 80's.. and possibly my favorite after Asia Minor's 'Between Flesh and Divine'. The music has a mystical fairy tale atmosphere: full of bright colors, vivid landscapes, unusual mythic characters, and dark shadowy forests. A lush ethereal mood flows through these seven tales like a shining crystalline stream.

Different from the over-produced and diluted 'Neo-Prog' albums from that same time period; 'La Mosaïque De La Rêverie' has quite a 70's sound and aesthetic... and an elaborate approach to songwriting. The closest comparisons would be Renaissance and Apoteosi, due mainly to the pure and angelic voice of 'Hiroko Nagai'. The sound-palette is also comparable to mid-70's Genesis (think Wind & Wuthering). There is a distinctly Japanese sensibility to the compositions which adds an exotic and fantastical element to the otherwise familiar Symph-Prog approach.

The album begins with a music box playing the 'go to sleep' lullaby theme... hypnogogic tranquility ensues as you begin drifting through an enchanted dreamworld.

This hypnotic spell lasts for nearly the full duration of the album... only slightly broken on the song 'Un Giel De Celluloide' where the female vocalist is mysteriously absent. In her place is the voice of 'Ikkou Nakajima' who sounds to me like a Japanese version of David Byrne. It's still a very good song with beautiful flute and synthesizer instrumentation... but i do believe it was a slight mis-step to bring in a different lead vocalist here. I can only imagine it was a choice made for lyrical content, which doesn't translate at all for non-Japanese speaking listeners.

The rest of the album is absolute perfection in my view... every song is a highlight. I would site 'Vexation' as my personal favorite: an enthralling and trance-inducing epic featuring a Genesis-like acoustic guitar and flute intro with some of the most lovely vocals on the album and the sound of a cooing baby in the background... followed by an excellent extended up-tempo instrumental section.

Japan seemed to be the only place in the world still producing top quality Symphonic Prog music in the mid-80's... and this is the greatest recorded testament to that fact that i've heard so far. That scene is well worth exploring if you are only familiar with the classic 70's bands... and this is the perfect album to start with.

This is a depressingly under-rated album and is (for my tastes) a true masterpiece! If this album were released in 1976 instead of 1986 i think more people would agree with me. Highly recommended to all Symphonic Prog fanatics... especially those with an interest in Japanese culture and music.

AdamHearst | 5/5 |

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