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Rousseau - Retreat  CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.65 | 48 ratings

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3 stars This is an album very much in the vein of "Flower in Asphalt", but it's even better. Though the band has undergone some changes in its line-up the sound remains the same. In "Retreat" we have the inclusion of a vocalist (the previous album being totally instrumental), H. G. Ruppik, whose tone of voice reminds me of (of course!) Andy Latimer. There's also a new guitar player who sounds again like... Andy Latimer, yes! But don't misunderstand me: the band has its own personality, that's for sure; however, when I try to compare them to other bands I always come to the same conclusion: Camel. What's more: "Flower in Asphalt" and "Retreat" are, in my opinion, much better records than the ones that Camel released during this period (the horrible "I Can See Your House...", the horrendous "The Single Factor" and the irregular and AOR "Stationary Traveller".) But let's talk about Rousseau and "Retreat": The first song is "L'age d'or". The intro of this song could have been included in Genesis' "A Trick Of..."; the rest of the track has a nice guitar and keyboard work with interesting bass lines (7/10). The following one is "One of a Thousand", a weak song, especially because the inclusion of the vocals which add nothing special to the sound of the band (5.5/10). "Café Crème" is a short and beautiful piece of acoustic guitar. It's got a jazzy and even bossa-nova atmosphere (7/10). "China" is a fantastic song. It's a good example of Rousseau at its best, it also shows a strong Canterburian influence. The dialogue between flute and guitar is really great (8/10). "Yago" has some very sweet melodies (the acoustic intro, for example) and it's one of the highlights of the album. A perfect example of simplicity and beauty all together (8.5/10). "Windsong" is another gem with an excellent and touching guitar solo (a la Latimer, of course!) (8/10). Next track, "Incomplete", is really nothing special: a boring, predictable and poppy song that shows that no one is perfect (4/10). "Scarlet lake" includes some nice acoustic guitar work which reminds me of Anthony Phillips, the flute melody is very South American (6.5/10). "Breakfast at Tiffany's" is another excellent piece of work with fantastic rhythmic changes (8/10). Unfortunately, "Flight" is a weak final track, too much AOR (5/10). I think 3.5 stars are the fair rating here. However, if you're a melodic prog fan, then Rousseau's records are a must!
DACE | 3/5 |


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