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Maneige - Libre Service - Self Service CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.04 | 92 ratings

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3 stars After the about turn of Ni Vent Ni Si Nouvelle, Maneige ploughed on in an even more emphatically accessible direction. This album is adventurous as a form of nascent World music ... we get percussive jams, ethnic instruments mixed in with disco and the some funky jazz-rock ... but really despite the music being very good, most of it is hardly what I would call prog-rock, and is certainly light years away from the best material on Les Porches.

My favourite tracks come towards the latter half of the album. Celebration is a symphonic flute-led instrumental that would grace a Camel record, while La Noce starts off the same way, before mutating into a fascinating band piece featuring Andy Latimer-style lead guitar. There's a glorious flute bit with reggae inflections, and another punchy guitar lead to round things off. Another highlight is La Belle Et La Bete, a pleasing slan of darting jazz-rock that's a little tricky to pin down.

Unfortunately too much of the album is totally unconnected with progressive rock. L'envol Des Singes Latins starts off as a Santana tribute, whereas Toujours Trop Tard becomes a Latin jazz excursion that also recalls Carlos and co. Les Pentocles is a real funky disco track, with some blistering electric guitar leads. Bagdad is a little different with a middle Eastern theme. Miro Vibro is a little silly, but has a nice massive sax opening, and sees Maneige foreshadowing the Dire Straits sound for the second time, the first being Douce Am Re from the previous album.

Overall, the best bits here put the album narrowly above its predecessor, but I still feel that Maneige took a wrong turn after Les Porches. ... 58% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 3/5 |


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