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Novela - La Songerie CD (album) cover

LA SONGERIE

Novela

 

Symphonic Prog

3.60 | 15 ratings

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VanVanVan
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I will admit that this album took me a bit by surprise. I suppose that since really the only Japanese prog music I had listened to before this was zeuhl bands like Koenjihyakkei and Ruins, I was expecting something a bit weirder. I was surprised in a good way, though, as this is a very solid symphonic/hard rock release, especially considering it came out in 1980.

"Illusion," the album's opener, begins with a fairly slow choral section that quickly transitions into a fairly standard hard rock number. The high pitched vocals soon kick in, and barring a brief section in the middle with some synth there's nothing out of the ordinary for a 1980 hard rock song. "Night WIth No Name" is much in the same style, highly reminiscent of a slew of late 70s/early 80s rock bands without ripping any of them off. "Unbelievable Words," has a slightly different sound to it, and, despite being the shortest song is probably the proggiest of these first three, with a totally different sounding bridge that somehow manages to not feel out of place. The vocals are a bit grating at times, though, especially the really high notes.

As soon as song 4, "Letticia" begins, the album really shifts into full on prog mode. We get a bombastic instrumental intro before the song falls away to just piano and voice. The song naturally builds up again from there, and there's some nice Genesis-esque organ along the way, though it's used sparingly. Really a great song. "The Boyhood-The Cliff" is another great prog track, with an instrumental intro that lasts longer than the entirety of "Unbelievable Words." It starts off with a fairly peaceful, pastoral sounding bass and synth intro, but at about five minutes in transitions to another uptempo, harder edged song. "La Songerie" starts out sounding quite a bit like "The Court of the Crimson King," but rest assured this is no rip-off. This intro transitions into an absolutely beautiful vocal section, which slows down before hitting us with the opening melody again. The song goes through more twists and turns from there, including what sounds like a harpsichord solo at one point. Other reviewers have said that this is the best song on the album and I think I have to agree.

Overall, this is an album that definitely wears a lot of influences on its sleeve, but it's very good regardless. At times the vocals sound a bit strained, but there's certainly nothing cringeworthy here in that regard. A nice blend of hard rock and symphonic prog that makes for a very good listening experience.

4/5

VanVanVan | 4/5 |

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