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Harmonium - Si on avait besoin d'une cinquième saison CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.35 | 1349 ratings

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Eclectic Prog Team
2 stars This progressive folk album consists primarily of acoustic instruments (no electric guitar or drums at all). It is indeed a very beautiful album ("Dixie" excepted, since that's a bit of ragtime fluff that doesn't fit in). However, only two of the pieces engage me ("Vert" and "Depuis L'Automne"). While the seventeen-minute instrumental that is meant to the be the majestic centerpiece of the album, it mostly fails to impress. Most folks who enjoy pastoral, pensive, quiet music will love this, but I am afraid I am in the minority.

"Vert" Light acoustic guitars and dual flutes lays the foundation for delicate male vocal harmonies similar to those of America, eventually erupting in layers of saxophone. This band makes an interesting use of delay, which has the effect of doubling the lead instruments such that it sounds like two musicians are performing one after the other. The final moments offer some impromptu vocalizations, guitar work, and flute that fit within the scope of the music.

"Dixie" This ragtime piece relies on fingerpicked acoustic guitar, honky-tonk piano and hushed layers of vocals. The singer begins scatting before a sprightly clarinet bursts in with a lively solo. It's cute, fun, and well-performed, but that is all.

"Depuis L'Automne" Pleasant vocals and acoustic guitar open this one. Washes of Mellotron and harmonics eventually bathe the listener in a pleasant musical aura. It is a gorgeous piece of music that makes lovely use of major-seventh chords. It picks up in a happy mood later, but ends in a menacing Mellotron that does not fit the context of the piece.

"En Pleine Face" A weird, spacey tone introduces this piece, which goes straight into more light acoustic music. The addition of the accordion and zither adds another dimension to the song, but that high-pitched whistling in the background is piercing and unwelcome.

"Histoires Sans Paroles" The lengthiest piece, a fifth season, begins with a woodwind and acoustic guitar. It stays pleasant for a while, but becomes rather discordant about a third of the way in. Dreamy Mellotron envelopes the piece. Eventually, a charging piano enters underneath additional vocalizations. While the segments are mostly beautiful, they do not fit well collectively, as though they were randomly strung together to fill out the rest of the album. Many of the parts consist of a Mellotron or piano alone. The jaunty section toward the end is rather unimaginative, comprising woodwind soloing over a rather banal rhythm.

Epignosis | 2/5 |


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