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Clearlight - Forever Blowing Bubbles CD (album) cover

FOREVER BLOWING BUBBLES

Clearlight

 

Symphonic Prog

3.80 | 87 ratings

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toroddfuglesteg
3 stars My first venture into Clearlight. Maybe I should have started with their debut album..... but here I go.

I have seen some references to this band in some Canterbury scene bios. So I became curious and wanted a piece of the action for myself. I also happens to like the French prog rock scene.

My experience has taught me that French prog rock bands does things their own peculiar way. Mostly down the Wagnerian way of things. Pretty heavy music in other words. Clearlight proves my point. The music is best described as Soft Machine merged with ELP and Mike Oldfield. Steve Hillage also seems to be a major influence here too. Clearlight clearly have their own identity. Or make that the virtuoso composer Cyrille Verdeaux. He is the brainchild here and I am happy to be introduced to his world. I suspect Cyrille Verdeaux is trying to create neo-classical music in Clearlight. Yes, that is what this music is. Neo- Classic music. This is by no means a negative comment from me. It is a matter of an observation.

The music is mostly instrumental. It is mostly heavy with a cluttering of instruments. Distorted electric guitar, piano, Moog, keyboards, flutes, violins, bass, drums and some other instruments. There are a lot of sound effects on this album too. Those are the least interesting parts of this album. As a fan of Soft Machine, I like this album best when Clearlight is venturing into their territory. The opening song Chanson, Et Pendant Ce Temps La and Without Words is classic Soft Machine heartland. That means a basis Jazz melody line and a lot of improvisations around it with violins, flutes, guitars and keyboards. Those three songs are superb.

And then...... When you think you have finally been able to label Clearlight, Narcisse Et Goldmund takes off in a totally different direction again. It is a pastorial vocal based song, sung by the vocalists from National Health and Hatfield & The North and backed up by flute and piano. This is two and a half minutes of superb music. The album peters out with some mindless sound effect after that song.

This is clearly an album which grows on the listener over a number of weeks, maybe even years. I am not entirely convinced that this is a masterpiece or even a great album. But I like this album although Neo-Classical music is not my favorite music style. This is my first Clearlight album and most certainly not their last one. I am intrigued.

3.5 stars

toroddfuglesteg | 3/5 |

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