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Clarion - Bourrée CD (album) cover

BOURRÉE

Clarion

 

Crossover Prog

3.13 | 7 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
3 stars Named after its title track, itself a BACH piece but better known in these pages as a JETHRO TULL classic, this sophomore effort by Clarion contains mostly covers of esteemed progressive rock tunes, but otherwise the flute-dominated pastoral quality of the first album remains intact, even solidified. I confess I do not know all of the source works, but will do my best to give my general impression, providing comparisons where available.

While versions of FOCUS' sprightly "House of the King", and GENTLE GIANT's "Talybont" are both well crafted, the vocal performance by Leo Fiore on PFM's "Impressioni di settembre" is noteworthy because it more approximates FRANCO BATTIATO's version than anything. Here synthesizers play a more central role although the flute does cavort just below the surface. "Suoni" is a sweet flute tune originally from NOMADI that leads into the lovely rendition of AMAZING BLONDEL's "Anthem", featuring female vocals, that expands upon the original in its meter, sometimes bordering on a laissez faire sort of reggae. Fiore is back for a spirited version of BANCO's R.I.P. MIKE BATT's "Caravan song" is given a renaissance-style treatment thanks to Lilliana Bodini's voice and some plucked classical guitar. While I do have the eponymous MCDONALD AND GILES album I don't recall anything quite so well formed as "Birdman, the Reflection", which includes a mellotronic instrument of some type and supporting drums all to a vaguely dissonant flute tune.

As with the debut album, sameness creeps in with somewhat less appealing numbers later on the disk, and "Hand of the Priestess", "Umanamente uomo: il sogno", "Non son fingere", and even Clarion's own "For Absent Friends" are lacking a certain enthusiasm to carry the somewhat dour melodies. The same cannot be said for the excellent closer "Nimbleness", orginally by MYROS, in which lively flutes and oboes ring out the album in grand style.

Mostly pleasant to be sure, "Bourree" solidifies CLARION as easy listening "prog" in the broadest sense, and certainly betrays their musical influences to be familial. This is an album for a mood, an occasional distraction rather than a staple.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |

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