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Clearlight - Les Contes du Singe Fou CD (album) cover

LES CONTES DU SINGE FOU

Clearlight

 

Symphonic Prog

3.37 | 58 ratings

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GruvanDahlman
4 stars Through the years as a prog lover I have come across Clearlight a few times. I have listened to the first couple of albums, mainly because they've received quite good reviews. However, I have not fallen in love with those albums. And whether or not i has to do with not having listened enough or that it just doesn't appeal to me, I have found one album with Clearlight that I really like. Actually I love it. The ape on the cover might suggest that the music is not prog but rather some french funk disco explosion but it's not. This is serious progressive rock with a very nice and pompous symphonic edge.

One of the things I love is that it is a concept album. The theme is one grand scheme of events. Or something like that. I love concept albums but of course it means nothing if it's musically faulty. In this case it's not. "Les contes du singe fou" is unlike it's predecessors a more "common" prog album in the sense that it has vocals and more structured parts, balancing nicely between complexity and accessibility. There is a wonderful melodic nature to it all, which I like, in that symphonic sort of way. There are hints of Genesis at times but the omnipresent and wonderfully flowing piano gives it a classical feel. The two longer epics, "The key" (13.42 minutes) and "Time skater" (15.29 minutes), are the main performers of the album, not only because of their duration. It is multi-movement affairs that really grabs my attention. I will not go into detail discussing the different sections. I will make do by stating that they are fantastic creations that really gets my blood flowing. The shorter tracks are very good aswell. "Stargazer" is a lovely little piece, as is the instrumental "Soliloque" and the ending "Return to the source".

I like just about everything with this album. The intensity, the beauty, the classical feel, the spacey theme, the vocals and just to keep it short the rest of it. The vocalist Ian Bellamy may not have a powerful voice but a clean and slightly fragile one that fits in well with the music. Clearlight was, in my opinion, never better than on "Les contes du singe fou". This is the album where everything fell into place, at least for me. I was instantly hooked to it's melodic and dramatic majesty, pompous and overblown just the way I like it. Don't let the monkey fool fool you. Do let the ape lead you into the universe of Clearlight and it's opulent beauty and dramatic complexity.

GruvanDahlman | 4/5 |

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