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Arena - Contagion CD (album) cover





4.14 | 630 ratings

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3 stars Arena could have easily become my favorite group. That what I thought after the first two albums. I waited with great expectations for the following one. Then, they composed their first concept album, "The visitor" which was a errible desillusion for me : great moments ("Hanging tree", "State of grace", "Blink of an eye"...) but so short !

It seems the concept of concept albums is to find an alibi to make short songs because it's more difficult to elaborate epics. It's easier to create 12 short and distinct song with one melody each than 3 long pieces composed of 4 themes that you have to articulate and imbricate and that you must lead in the same direction. It's also easier to make short songs with just a rapid solo in the middle than to create large musical developements.

I have always thought "The lamb lies down", "The wall" and "Snow", for instance, are the weakest albums of Genesis, Pink Floyd (except the Final cut but it's a Waters' album !) and Spock's Beard.

There are great ideas in "Contagion". But none is really developed. Of course, these musicians are excellent, and the voice is splendid. But I think the potential of this group is much bigger than what they show in this restrictive song format.

Kjarks | 3/5 |


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