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French TV - Pardon Our French CD (album) cover


French TV



4.10 | 32 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars FRENCH TV, a very underrated american band. Quite odd since they provide the more 'bearable' kind of RIO/Avant prog mixed with some jazz/fusion elements. Furthermore their style also includes a lot of classical prog elements besides obvious influences of Zappa shining through every now and then; something that makes them stand out from other RIO bands. Something I have to give credit for is that they respectively take the positive aspects of every genre and leave out the chlichés, what remains is pure vitality and delight in playing.

In 2004 main composer Mike Sary brought up the big guns again, Pardon our French advanced to one of my favorite albums of it's genre. True to the motto Everything works in Mexico the first song mixes spanish/mexican rythms and melodies with stunning violin solos and Sary's overwhelming bass work. After a mellow break with some quite piano runs the sharp violin and keyboard appear again, leading over to a spanish acoustic guitar part accompanied by the violin. Sekala Dan Niskala offers asian rythms and melodies in the first half, turns rather melancholic, but not for long, it actually turns to a pretty weird song. Fripp like guitar and hand-clapping in the end, nice. Now it is time for something special. With their Pardon Our French Medley FRENCH TV created an own composition by covering some french prog bands. CARPE DIEM, ATOLL, PULSAR, ETRON FOU LELOUBAN, ANGE & SHYLOCK (I don't know all of them) are the ones to suffer for a great, independent appearing longtrack. Mike Sary really contrives to wrap those tunes up to the typical FRENCH TV sound. Anyway, this track is definitely more classical prog than RIO. Tears of a Velvet Clown abducts us to an amusement park, flute, trompet and tuba, blitheful accordion & marimba, welcome to the circus...then applause & laughter in the background and the roller coaster ride begins. Very humorous before the music is about to change to a rather melancholic prevailing mood. Comparing the first half of the song to it's second may give an account of the song title. A weird song with an odd atmosphere, but definitely my favorite song on this album. When the Ruff Tuff Creampufss Take Over, unfortunately the last song, features a great, very deep bassline in the beginning. Altogether very slow in tempo but definitely not less in it's looniness and humor. Some improvised jazz parts are adumbrated but they are bridled and never really break out. Instead, the song gets wilder in the end and Mike Sary really pushes the envelope regarding his bass playing. A mind-blowing finish.

FRENCH TV proved again that they're a band to reckon on. If you're not familiar with RIO/Avant Prog, or have poor relations to the genre you should check out this album. It can perfectly introduce you to the genre and simultaneously be very revealing. It's engrained in the genre but mingles it with various other influences. The band takes each impact with a pinch of salt and adds a lot of humor, disguised and obvious. It may also meet with the approval of Zappa fans. But for all that I still think that Pardon our French definitely is an excellent addition to ANY prog music collection.

Strongly recommended !!!

diddy | 4/5 |


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