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Sandrose - Sandrose CD (album) cover

SANDROSE

Sandrose

 

Symphonic Prog

3.57 | 97 ratings

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ClemofNazareth
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk Researcher
3 stars This is the only album from a lineup formerly known as Eden Rose, with the exception of lead singer Rose Podwojny (aka Laurens). And also with the exception of Laurens, the music in my opinion isn't dramatically different than the blend of folksy, slightly psych and jazz-tinged stuff Eden Rose recorded in 1970.

Laurens does make a difference though, her rich contralto voice lending more weight to the shorter tracks with its distinctive lounge-act timbre and mood. The best examples of these songs include the opening "Vision", "Never Good at Saying Goodbye" and "Summer is Yonder" which projects a bit of the dramatic stage flair band leader Jean-Pierre Alarcen probably picked up during his stint with the one of the traveling productions of the musical 'Hair'.

Elsewhere the band relies on longer, more instrumental tracks to flesh out the album. On these Alarcen's guitar soloing style and Henri Garella's symphonic-leaning keyboards shine, much as they did on the Eden Rose album a couple years' prior. The lengthy "Underground Session" is the highlight of this type of arrangement and of the album in total, although the alternating keyboard/guitar leads and passionate rhythm of "Metakara" makes it a strong contender for my favorite track.

Not everything works here. For one, even though Laurens' articulation and vocals are quite good, I think the music would have had greater depth and passion had she sung in her native French rather than English (which I suppose had more to do with commercial appeal than artistic merit). "To Take Him Away" is an awkward track that smacks of being nothing more than filler. And the closing "Fraulein Kommen Sie Schlaff" bears no resemblance to anything else on the album and although quite brief really doesn't belong here.

From what I've read these guys were quite popular in France, and the original vinyl of this album still fetches tidy sums today. No need to make that investment though thanks to Musea's CD reissue (though truth be told even that one isn't particularly easy to get your hands on).

In any case I like this record, a little more so every time I play it. Lauren's vocals sound more like 1977 than 1972 though, and even though she is a very good and emotive singer I have a bit of trouble reconciling her singing with much of the instrumental music. Despite that this is easily a three star effort, and worth seeking out if you are into contemporary French prog folk or eclectic styles of early seventies prog. Well recommended.

peace

ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |

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