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Magma - Merci CD (album) cover





2.53 | 191 ratings

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2 stars Almost all bands have somewhat of a misstep along the way. Some are large, some are small, and some are flat out confusing. Some still make you burst out in laughter, wondering what in the world the band was thinking. Merci starts off seeming entirely like the last (with a bit of the flat-out confusion), because of the infamous first track, "Call From the Dark (Ooh Ooh Baby)". The track...defies all logic. Here we have a band known for their great brand of music, with heavy, chugging bass, explosive drumming, and vocals sung in a language of the band's own origin. What do we get on this track? To start, a drum machine instead of Vander, no bass to be impressed with at all, and lyrics sung in English. Where's the Magma we all know and (some of us, at least) love? I'm not sure, but they've been replaced for this track with a funny disco/pop/whatever you'd call it. Play this track if you'd like to trick someone into liking Magma, or if you're in the mood for a good laugh.

The rest of the album, however, is a step up from this track. The bass, when present, is fun and tasteful, albeit not anything like the Zeuhl bass of past days. We get some of Vander's most inspired vocals on the great "Otis," along with some good bass, well-constructed music in general on this track. Most of the album is definitely down the funky/soul road that we start to see on tracks on Attahk. For me, at least, it's not a bad thing, as I've liked funk and some soul longer than I've known anything about Magma or prog in general. As others have mentioned, the sole track on the album which could be considered close to the Zeuhl standard is "Elephas Levi." While it's a great track, I find myself enjoying "Otis" and "Do the Music" most from the album.

Everything on the album is interesting for one reason or another - whether it's the unintentional humor of the opener or the funky feel of much of the rest of the album, or even the Zeuhl feeling provided by "Elephas Levi," I find something to enjoy in just about all of the album. However, being realistic I can't recommend it to any Zeuhl fan, unless they're also a fan of funk and soul. My rating for PA is lower than my personal rating - here, it gets a 2, I'd give it a 3 or 3.5 on a general music website.

SaltyJon | 2/5 |


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