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Finnegans Wake - Pictures CD (album) cover

PICTURES

Finnegans Wake

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

4.13 | 20 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars Third album, the first on Musea (instead of Mellow, so far) and an unchanged line-up but an extended guest list for a largely similar sound, Pictures (refreshing album title) is recorded and auto-produced during the winter 00 & 01 in Brussels Their sound remains a wide spectrum, ranging from classical chamber music to dissonant free form to hard rocking with a loud electric guitar (courtesy of Jacques Collin) and sometimes outstanding drums ( from guest Michel Morvan), both generally reminiscent of Crimson.

Right from the first second, you know there is only a choice from two groups in the world, both Belgians: either UZ or FW. It won't be long before you stop hesitating as the music changes too much for it to be UZ's. , but Downtown's 11 minutes is an impressive charabia of music styles and genres. The five-movements almost 17-mins self-titled suite is about five painters, so obviously five interacting atmospheres, one of them having a very Magma-esque scat vocals and there is an absolutely mesmerizing funky bass/trumpet passage that should leave Miles speechless. The musicians of FW are all about progressing without reneging their past. Indeed besides the Wenceslas character being revived for the third time in three albums (this time in a 17-mins three-piece thing,) the group has some kind of weird Terry Riley-like minimalism in the 7-mins Illimited as a middle section, the second being the most verbose FW piece ever. Overall, this second major axis of the album is a bit of a miss and it is not the small finale outro that will change it.

Typically in the line of previous albums, Pictures is generally better produced than the first two Mellow albums, although I understand that Musea did not intervene anymore than Mellow had. Starting extremely strong, but seemingly running out of steam in the second part, Pictures is still a rather strong album and fits perfectly well in FW's discography.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |

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