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Finnegans Wake - Green CD (album) cover

GREEN

Finnegans Wake

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.78 | 17 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars Roughly two years after Yellow, FW comes back with a second album also sporting a colour on its sleeve and title: Green. With a sub-marine artwork, the album was again released on the Italian Mellow label, but you can sense that Moroni is not willing to invest as much as the back of the CD and the disc itself have B&W illustrations rather than coloured ones. Although the central trio remained together, the guitarist changed and among the guest can we find the returning Ruymen on violin, but on the whole, the musical direction remains similar to Yellow, even if it's clear the guys are definitely better with each other.

Starting on the Lemaitre-penned Boleral, the album has to wait the superb Krutzen-penned Italics track to really take off. And we're again gliding into this mix of chamber rock with RIO and twists of Canterburian-jazz-rock and it's almost unmistakably a typical Belgian record. Vocally Henri shares with Celine Thooft the vocals allowing for more weirdness, especially on the Queen Wenceslas, obviously the companion piece to the track o the debut album. Elsewhere, Celine's raspy and deep vocals give a different flavour to Torquemada's Dream, and probably make this nightmarish track the album's highlight with a lengthy guitar solo over organ layers first, than uncontrollably sliding to the lugubrious. The joint Aucremanne/Krutzen-penned Dragon suite is another highlight, although I wouldn't bother with the different subsections. The closing Mountains and Clouds takes on an ethnic African feel, especially once the vocals get in stride (courtesy of Celine), but it's not a typical FW track either. .

There is one BIG surprise in this album, a cover from Peter Hammill's Squid track, where Henri loves to do Jaxon's sax in his version and we are plunged into a light Graaf-esque ambiance, the arrangements being somewhat important. Technically all around a better album than Yellow, Green is a very enjoyable album, and is quite accessible for most progheads although I wouldn't use it as mating music. This would prove FW's last album on Mellow, as could be expected by the small hints and most likely like of sufficient sales, but Green is definitely one of the 90's best album from Belgium. If you hesitate between colours, this one gets the green light.

Sean Trane | 4/5 |

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