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Taļ Phong - Taļ Phong CD (album) cover


Taļ Phong


Symphonic Prog

3.66 | 103 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Founded by two Vietnamese residents in France and guitarist/songwriter Jean-Jacques Goldman, Taļ Phong debuted with their debut album in the exact middle of the 70s, just when the prog movement was reaching a sort of pinnacle in France's rock scene. This band's prog approach is highly melodic, at times related to AOR: the most epic moments in this album's repertoire are instilled with eerie ambiences created by soaring synth layers and effective lead guitar washes (pretty much influenced by what Pink Floyd was doing at the time). The band's forte is not pyrotechnical virtuosity as much as emotional involvement: their material is mostly based on evocative melodic lines and harmonic bases, and the musicians deliver them with a sort of introspective emotion. The album's highlights are, IMHO, 'Fields of Gold' and 'Out of the Night', two of the longest tracks: the former starts as a serene ballad that eventually turns to a hypnotic sonic voyage that goes on during the last 4 minutes, creating an evolving air of mystery that fills the room in which the listener lies while hearing this record; the latter is built in a more cohesive frame, which allows the band to explore their Floydian essence with a tighter attitude (despite the track being evidently slow), and so, close down the album in a magnificent way. Another great number is 'For Years and Years (Cathy)', which kind of anticipates the melancholic splendour that will later be further developed in the closure 'Out of the Night'. The three other tracks are shorter, and to a certain degree, designed to be catchy - these are the moments when Taļ Phong gets closer to AOR and glam-rock, with 'Sister Jane' being a very sentimental ballad. But, all in all, they never cross that bridge definitively, since 'Goin' Away' and 'Crest' contain some rhythm shifts that provide an effective diversity to the whole, which is basically pop-oriented with a prog twist. Generally speaking, 'Taļ Phong' is a very interesting album, not genius, but good enough to bring a genuine pleasure to those prog aficionados who can also enjoy stylish and less complex things with a strong melodic component.
Cesar Inca | 3/5 |


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