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Magma - Merci CD (album) cover





2.67 | 219 ratings

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3 stars Merci ? 1984 (3.4/5) 11 ? Best Song: Call from the Dark

Well if this album's ingredients aren't a veritable checklist for disaster and woe! It's the 1980's and the group simplify their sound. The percussion (always a notable element) have been replaced by arena-rock drum machines and synth beats. The instrumentation is rampantly redefined, giving the songs the feeling of new wave or synth pop. To top it off, they're singing in English! Oh, this has to be a horrid nightmare!

Fortunately for me, I happen to quite enjoy recipes for destruction and failure. And upon reading the title to the opening song 'Call From the Dark (Ooh Ooh Baby)', I couldn't help but figure this to be the point where Magma become superfluous and not worth my time. Lo and behold, I'd end up enjoying the album as much as any other release. I dare say this might be your best bet for being indoctrinated into the world of Zeuhl in case you listened to three minutes off of MDK and decided that your Cat Stevens wasn't all that bad anyway.

So you might be wondering exactly why I'm giving what is apparently the worst Magma album one of the the highest ratings (not that it's too high or low in the first place, they're consistent). It's still weird. You won't be seeing folks with Merci on their debit card purchase history right beside ABBA and Duran Duran. I'm just vainly attempting to explain that this is their most musical album to date (the least occupied with repetition and the most occupied with honest-to-Kommandoh melodic sense). If anything, you could dance to the hoo-hoo beat assault jazz of 'Do the Music'. They top everything off with a Kobaian finale befitting old decrepit King Re. It's a spiritual, and it's an uplifting experience. If it weren't for the go-nowhere epic that preceded it, that sort of finale would've driven Merci to a high 12. Sadly, even the most economic of releases by frigged-out groups must have their experimental dark side, and we miss out on a synth pop masterpiece (hardy har har!).

Alitare | 3/5 |


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