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Solstice - Espresso CD (album) cover

ESPRESSO

Solstice

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

It's a little difficult to believe that the group was not aware of Gong's discography and their late- 70's albums, so I'm not sure why these guys also used it, but obviously, they didn't gain much by doing so, as unfortunately they never got much of an exposition. If you've read my review of their previous album, you might have noticed that I praised the absence of those late-70's synths that ruined many albums of the era. Well you can scrap that particular remark for this album, as there are quite a bit of keyboards, but unfortunately, often the ones I incriminate.

So Solstice's distinctive sound that might have given them an edge is now simply wiped from the table with Robillard's arrival with his wide array of keyboard instruments, although it's not as catastrophic as I might hint it to be. Indeed, if the general direction of a funky JR/F is preserved, the shift from guitars to keyboards (the former are not absent, though) make this album a fairly different beast, but the Solstice touch remains, despite the shorter track format (8 instead of 6). Actually I personally feel that the "songwriting" is probably superior on Espresso than in its predecessor, especially on the rather amazing Pas De Douze.

Not anymore essential than its predecessor Mirage, Espresso is relatively more energetic, with the funk element cranked at 11, instead of 5 or 6 in the Spinal Tap scale.

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Posted Thursday, April 07, 2011 | Review Permalink

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