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Magma - Merci CD (album) cover





2.53 | 191 ratings

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2 stars Magma's Merci is their well known career dip. At least it is when you would be expecting one of those mind-expanding Zeuhl experiences. For some reason Vander and Stella gave up their longstanding Kobaian chants and instead of sounding as far from pop as they used to, they turned completely disco/soul/funk on us!

The shock experience starts with Call From The Dark. A track sung in English, with disco drum machines instead of real-live drums and poppy soul songwriting. And guess what? It is an excellent track. The musical expertise of this Magma line-up proves to be still strong enough to pull this kind of groovy pop off. Especially the vocals are great, if you like powerful female soul vocals of course.

Otis is more relaxed R'n'B, sung in French. A couple of harmonies and some vocal weirdness still reminds us this might be Magma indeed, the music won't. This one isn't my cup of tea as much as the opener but it's a good poppy soul track, not blatantly commercial or too cheesy. Do The Music is a strange hybrid of shameless 70's disco and Magma's funk-inspired traits as known from Attahk. I can't say the marriage works really well. Also the gospel/soul of I must Return leaves me untouched.

Eliphas Levi is a more experimental track with a pulsating atmospheric drone created by soft bass and piano playing. Harmonic minimalist vocals are added. I'd say most Philip Glass fans and 'normal' Magma fans might like this track.

I must say I've been pleasantly surprised by this album. Of course, 25 years of stubbornly not wanting to listen to it might have lowered my expectations quite a bit. Still, this shouldn't have been released under the Magma banner. Apart from the last track, nothing has got anything to do with the Magma you know. I don't think it's a bad album though; it's just that with its obvious tribute to soul, disco and funk, it's exactly the type of thing most prog fans won't like at all. 2.5 stars

Bonnek | 2/5 |


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