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Amon Düül II - Vive la Trance CD (album) cover


Amon Düül II



3.17 | 96 ratings

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Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
2 stars Amon Duul II: Vive La Trance [1974]

Rating: 4/10

On Vive La Trance, Amon Duul II lost all remaining semblance of progressive/experimental credibility that they had previously feebly clung to on Carnival in Babylon and Wolf City. Those albums showed the band progressing (more like regressing) in a decidedly more commercial and straightforward direction. However, they still managed to incorporate a certain amount of experimentation. It was watered-down and it often clashed with the more commercial moments, but it was still there. On Vive La Trance, however, the band abandoned all hopes of progress in favor of mainstream psychedelic rock. Long gone are the days of side-long experimental suites. Instead, this album is packed with lifelessly short rock songs. At times, it ranges from annoying to downright bad. At other times, it's simply mediocre. However, nothing here even manages to reach the lukewarm quality of its two predecessors.

"A Morning Excuse" is a bluesy rock song with a generic main riff and irritating vocals. The electric guitar soloing is solid, though. "Fly United" is another hard-rock song that is saved by decent guitar work. "Jalousie" is absolutely abominable. The female vocals are horrifically grating and irritating; this woman sounds like a 10-year-old German girl who recently sucked on a helium balloon. Listening to this is a strain on the ears. "Im Krater Bluhm Wieder Die Baume" is a completely unremarkable psych-rock instrumental. The eight-minute "Mozambique" is the longest piece on the album. The horrible vocals return, turning this into yet another weak track. "Apocalyptic Bore" is an overlong light rock song with off-putting semi-spoken vocals. "Dr." is a straightforward hard-rock track with an uncreative chorus. The dull hard-rock continues with "Trap." The poor vocals also continue. "Pig Man" is a jarring blues song with unmelodious vocals. A decent sax solo is the only slightly redeeming thing here. "Manana" is an out-of-place descent into calypso music. "Ladies Mimikry" brings back the uncomfortable spoken-word vocals. The vocal manta during the conclusion is horribly annoying.

It's hard to believe that this same band released Yeti a mere four years earlier. There is nothing creative or memorable going on here at all. This is nothing but mainstream rock; the bizarre vocals constitute the only unusual factor here. I possess no aversion to strange vocals, but these are simply awful. Both the male and female voices are unmelodious, grating, and downright annoying. This album is much more mediocre than good, but the occasionally engaging instrumental lines prevent me from hating it too much. The guitar soloing is fun to listen to (particularly on "Fly United"), and there are also a few spats of nice violin and sax. However, this is not nearly enough to distract me from the terrible vocals, the uninspired songwriting, and the bland compositional structures. "Fans only" is certainly the most fitting evolution here. Everyone else should spend their time elsewhere.

Anthony H. | 2/5 |


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