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Rousseau - At The Cinema CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

2.42 | 17 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
3 stars This project from long running German chamber prog group ROUSSEAU appeared 15 years after their previous release, and 20+ years have now passed with no hint of a reunion beyond a 2008 compilation with a few original songs. Of course, if Mark Twain and my recent reviews have taught us anything about groups' demises, it's that such rumours can prove to be exaggerated.

Several factors conspire to make "At the Cinema" the least essential ROUSSEAU album, chiefly the absences of Christoph Huster on flutes and Herbert G Ruppik on vocals. The woodwinds aren't even substituted with synthesized versions, while one Joerg Schwarz takes up the sung parts on the 5 non-instrumentals. Regarding his singing, the best that can be said is that he is a good guitarist. Actually, that's not quite fair, and if I hadn't had enough of JOHN COUGAR, BRYAN ADAMS and THE TRAVELING WILBURYs in prior decades I might not be so harsh. These tunes, apart from "Back in these Arms", aren't grotesque but they are highly predictable and cliched, the best being "All I want" if only, but not only, because the answer "is everything" is pop perfection. "If this is Heaven" is also decent, with a fine piano outro.

Speaking of keyboards, those of the returning "Rainer Hofmann" are key to the modest artistic achievement here, highlighted by the two thematic pieces, "Halland" and "Retreat", while "Waterfront" is the consummate showing by Joerg Schwarz.

ROUSSEAU was never the most exciting band, but even on "At the Cinema", they solidified their reputation as the symphonic prog fan's equivalent of a comforting classic film in a romantic old fashioned movie house.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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