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Offenbach - Offenbach CD (album) cover

OFFENBACH

Offenbach

 

Prog Related

3.17 | 4 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars After their first English-sung album, Offenbach tried to make themselves forgotten to their Quebec public for this small "treason" (Quebec was in the throes of the sovereignty crisis), and they came back with a strong concise album that was very "rock-minded" and showed them in a down-to-earth and back-in-business form, but still inventive enough to please some progheads. The album was released on a major label (A&M) and featured a comic artwork, as if to show that they should not be taken too seriously.

Opening on rockers like Victoire d'Amour (don't be fooled by the meaningless title and lyrics) or on bluesier Voix Que j'ai (Boulet is now the sole singer since Harel's departure, but his voice remains close to his former acolyte), the album's songs are mostly short and fairly conventional in the chorus-verse structure, but there is some shining instrumental interventions, not least the sometimes searing & soaring guitar, but Boulet's always enthralling Hammond-playing, a good flute intervention on the Rêve A Lachute. Clearly the album's highlight (for progheads) will be A L'Envers with its excellent interplay between all members, while Dominus Vobiscum can be seen as a disappointment, as it seems to hint at the St Chrone De Neant era, but soon becomes a normal rocker with a good violin (more of a fiddle) solo in the middle.

The flipside opens on the all-time Quebec rocker song than a mid-tempo blues) and mostly repeats the formula of its opposite face, with sizzling guitar breaks (Blues), good (sometimes brilliant) instrumental interplay on the slow-starting Condamné A Mort (with its violin in the background and sizzling guitar) and on the second-best Jeune Lune. Not exactly the type of album I'd recommend for a proghead to start exploring this band's oeuvre, but this is a crowd favourite and it includes a few concert standouts and fan classic tracks. Still a few good moments on this slice of wax.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |

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