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Garolou - Centre-Ville CD (album) cover



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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
2 stars Although Garolou hasn't had anymore line-up change, the least we cab say is that Centre-Ville definitely not made of the same wood than its three predecessors, but somehow it continues the modernization process that Romancero started. "Graced" with a rather ugly and on-the-run window-shopping photo, the album has few folk influences and gives a very soft AOR feel that most 70's band were

Opening on a reggaeish Ouvres la Porte, the album doesn't star well, and even after a long intro the follow-up Je Deviens Fou sounds like Steely Dan meeting 10 CC. Ditto for Aller- Retour (return trip) and Terre with its 6 minutes but hardly a space for instruments, except in the repetitive finale where they barely dare in the fade-out. The flipside does not offer much more with radio-friendly Parles-Moi or the upbeat but uninteresting Je Savais Pas, the album closing on the would-be title track, a soppy jazz ballad of no interest whatsoever.

Best avoided really, this fourth album will be Garolou's last oeuvre, which by 82 standard was a mainstream product of its time, trying to break out the airwaves to their material, but let's face it, if it didn't with the more original early stuff, it wasn't going to do it with the sunk-in-the- mass AOR

Report this review (#236022)
Posted Monday, August 31, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars It took Canadian record companies a bit longer than their US and UK counterparts to start putting the squeeze on their artists to get them producing more radio-friendly commercial music. However, by the early 1980s this had become the norm, and one can clearly hear the influence on this album. This album is more highly produced, with shorter songs and more of an 80s sound, with perhaps the best example (ie worst song, for me intolerable) the track which closes the album - "Suel au Centre-Ville". However, even the better songs on this album have just enough of this slicker sound to make me not want to listen to it very often. There are some decent songs on this though. I actually like the opener with the reggae-related beat ("Tu Ouvres La Porte"), and even though more AOR in style, the second and third songs ("Je Deviens Fou" and "Aller-Retour") are still fairly musical. The best song is the second-last track, "Je Savais Pas", which would fit in on their earlier albums, although it does not come close to the best songs on those albums. So, there are four decent songs here, making the album worth picking up by (true) fans for these tracks. But the rest are just OK, and I can no longer sit through the whole album. On balance, I give this 4.6 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 2 PA stars.

Report this review (#1698941)
Posted Sunday, March 5, 2017 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
2 stars With the double entendre of the title signifying a shift to the bland stylistic center of 1982 rock, and an abandonment of essentially rural folk for city glitz, "Centre-Ville" did nothing to stymie the perhaps inevitable collapse of GAROLOU's initial run. Displaced from a field with few professional purveyors to a weedy city lot, they abandoned all folk roots and homogenized their sound, notwithstanding a fun reggae-tinged opener and an above average ballad "Aller-Retour". Rockers like "Terre" and "Je Savais Pas" are utterly without distinction. Perhaps the album's most notable "first" is that of first GAROLOU album to contain an English lyric, on the closing "Seul au Centre Ville", the only waking moment of a piece so light that it rivals the mellowest fare by mid 1970s AMAZING BLONDEL. You'll wish you'd been allowed to sleep right through it.

It appears that the band spirited somewhat out of retirement in the early 1990s with a fine live disk that conspicuously omits anything from "Centre Ville", if only because this made so little impact in 1982 that it could not be resurrected even by occult ritual. If "Centre-Ville" isn't totally awful, it also isn't worth seeking out by anyone but unapologetic fans, who all appear to have gone uptown by this point.

Report this review (#1737631)
Posted Sunday, June 25, 2017 | Review Permalink

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