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Mona Lisa - Le Petit Violon De Mr. Grégoire CD (album) cover


Mona Lisa


Symphonic Prog

3.63 | 77 ratings

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2 stars Some recording artists are like musical painters, or even better, sculptors. Others are more like theatrical performers, not as much to my taste but still occupying a niche that some favor. Among these are practitioners of the baser arts of the stage. I'm speaking of course of overwrought melodrama, and nowhere is this redundant phrasing more appropriate than in the ANGE-influenced school of symphonic prog. If I may extend this train of thought beyond the end of the tracks, I might add that this MONA LISA album could be held up as Exhibit A, not because it is terrible, but rather, conversely, because it is musically so strong that the vocal histrionics sabotage it at every turn.

Eight tracks, the three good ones all being instrumental, and the remainder offering a few glimpses of ....gasp...tasteful understated playing and even singing, particularly in Part 3 of the title trilogy. The rest is quite simply sabotaged. This isn't like ECLAT, who actually are wise enough to tend mostly to the instrumental end, or ANGE, where even the music isn't that interesting, or PENTACLE, whose melodies fairly sparkle. This could have been a major achievement, granted that its appearance in 1977 does not work in its favor, and that some of the best instrumental parts remind me eerily of JANE's concurrent work.

This is smack dab between 2 and 3 stars but loses out because clearly the lyrics are significant to the concept yet they are couriered with haste and arrive as damaged goods. Hence I must pull out my replica of the world's smallest violin while I round down.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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