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Harmonium - Si On Avait Besoin D'Une Cinquième Saison CD (album) cover

SI ON AVAIT BESOIN D'UNE CINQUIÈME SAISON

Harmonium

 

Symphonic Prog

4.39 | 887 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Si On Avait Besoin D'Une Cinquième Saison is the second album by Canadian, Quebec based progressive rock act Harmonium. The core of the band which recorded the debut album Harmonium (1974) consisting of Lead vocalist and guitarist Serge Fiori, Guitarist/ vocalist Michel Normandeau and bassist/ vocalist Louis Valois is still intact on Si On Avait Besoin D'Une Cinquième Saison. There are two new faces in the lineup on this album and they have a great effect on the music. Pierre Daigneault on flute, piccolo, Soprano saxophone and clarinet and Serge Locat on piano, mellotron and synthesizer.

While the music on the debut was basically sophisticated light jazzy and folky pop songs the band adds a symphonic element to their sound on Si On Avait Besoin D'Une Cinquième Saison which gives the music a whole new dimension. I was very impressed by the debut album but this album takes Harmonium´s music through the roof IMO. It´s of some notice that the album features almost no drums. The lack of drums really gives the album a very special and original sound. The addition of piano, mellotron, synth, flute, piccolo, clarinet and saxophone also gives the music on this album a very warm and pleasant feel. Serge Fiori´s vocal style is very pleasant and smooth. A very emotional and strong vocalist. Harmonium´s trademark 12-string acoustic guitars and melodic bass playing are also very present on this album.

The band is French speaking and the lyrics are in the French langauge. It´s probably a problem for some but I actually enjoy this feature in the music. There are only five songs on the album but it has a playing time that says 41:28 minutes and a couple of pretty long songs. The album starts with the beautiful Vert and after that the song Dixie which as the title suggests features some happy jazzy notes. It´s not jazz though as Harmonium really understand how to mix genres in a sophisticated and clever way. Depuis L'Automne is a 10:25 minute long track which is very symphonic. Here we get to enjoy the new addition of mellotron and piano for real. What a great song that one. En Pleine Face is a ballad type song. Very mellow and beautiful. The 17:12 minute long ending song Histoires Sans Paroles is quite an epic and symphonic track. It´s mostly instrumental ( except for some choirs) and features lots of synth, piano and mellotron in addition to Harmonium´s trademark 12-string acoustic guitars and melodic bass playing. A real treat for symphonic prog fans.

The musicianship on the album is outstanding. The way the two guitars compliment each other reminds me very much of Genesis mellow acoustic guitar parts. The vocals are arranged in great fashion with lots of beautiful harmony vocals to support the lead vocal. The addition of all the new instruments in the music is also a real treat and gives Harmonium so many new possibilities that they fully exploit.

The production is wonderful. Warm and pleasant but at the same time very clean. Everything sounds right in the mix. Be prepared to listen to something soft and beautiful.

Si On Avait Besoin D'Une Cinquième Saison deserves all the praise it gets. It even proves to be better than the excellent debut album by Harmonium IMO. A deserved 5 star rating from me for a highly recommendable and original album. There are leaders and followers in every genre of music and Harmonium should definitely be regarded as one of the leaders of symphonic prog regardless of their rather limited discography.

UMUR | 5/5 |

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