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Pageant - La Mosaïque De La Rêverie CD (album) cover



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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
2 stars Another one of these neo japanese band that failed to captivate me along Gerard , Teru , Outer Limits etc... Note that some Japanese band did enthuse me a little more such as By Kyo Ran, Happy Family, Wappa Gappa, Kenso and a few other, but their style/genre of rock was other than neo.
Report this review (#25185)
Posted Thursday, April 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
4 stars The first album "La Mosaïque de la Rêverie" is one of the most acclaimed Japanese albums. The seven compositions contain twanging guitars, delicate flute, lush keyboards and sensitive electric guitar. It's beautiful symphonic rock, very melodic and harmonic with strong hints from GENESIS, CAMEL and RENAISSANCE. The Japanese vocals (not always a strong point in the Japanese prog rock) sound convincing: powerful and high pitched. The climates changes from dreamy to bombastic with splendid build-ups and exciting 'grand finales'. If you want to float on symphonic waves, let you take away by this CD from PAGEANT, later albums sound also good but were less symphonic.
Report this review (#25187)
Posted Saturday, November 27, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is one of the best Japanese symphonic albums. The band played its first concerts already in 1982 but this debut album wasn't released until in 1986. The band, like many other Japanese progressive bands, had a female singer Hiroko Nagai. She is classically trained and absolutely one of the best of these Japanese female singers there is. In addition, she also plays the keyboards that are centred on piano. In general, this band has a great harmony in their playing. I think this is the main reason in addition to the strong compositions that this band stands out from the Japanese 80's progressive scene. The music is very refined symphonic and not as bombastic like for instance Teru's Symphonia from the same period. Guitarist Ikkou Nakajima, who was previously a member of Fromage, deserves a special mention as he was without a doubt one of the best Japanese guitarists. The band had also a flautist Kazuhiro "Mr. Sirius" Miyatake who ads a nice touch with his delicate playing. He is also known for his Mr. Sirius albums that he released shortly after this album was released. Hiroko Nagai was the vocalist in this band as well.

The album starts with the very good title song. My favourite song though is "Echo" which is the rockiest and most controversial song in the album. It's a very good track though and showing the band's capabilities at best. All tracks are at least good and therefore this album doesn't have any weak moments.

Conclusion: A classic from the Japanese symphonic scene!

Report this review (#37708)
Posted Sunday, June 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Fairly typical-and yet, exemplary-take on the Japanese mega-symphonic sound of the 1980's. Front and center of the band is singing keyboardist Hiroko Nagai, who in tried and true Japanese style fills every corner with lush symphonic layers of synthesizer. She's better known, however, for her powerful yet often delicate singing voice. She's certainly superb!

The fullness of sound is quite astounding. Oft-compared to Renaissance, and that's somewhat true over the softer passages. But they alternate between harder, more fire-tipped sections of the sort you would never find on a Renaissance album. Guitarist Ikkou Nakajima certainly comes into his own here, adding an aggressive and authoritative stance to the music. They're never as hard-edged as, say, Providence, but neither are they as mellow and airy as Mugen. Nowhere near as derivative, either. They have absorbed their influences well.

Report this review (#49489)
Posted Friday, September 30, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Pageant's debut is one of the best Symphonic Prog albums of the 80's.. and possibly my favorite after Asia Minor's 'Between Flesh and Divine'. The music has a mystical fairy tale atmosphere: full of bright colors, vivid landscapes, unusual mythic characters, and dark shadowy forests. A lush ethereal mood flows through these seven tales like a shining crystalline stream.

Different from the over-produced and diluted 'Neo-Prog' albums from that same time period; 'La Mosaïque De La Rêverie' has quite a 70's sound and aesthetic... and an elaborate approach to songwriting. The closest comparisons would be Renaissance and Apoteosi, due mainly to the pure and angelic voice of 'Hiroko Nagai'. The sound-palette is also comparable to mid-70's Genesis (think Wind & Wuthering). There is a distinctly Japanese sensibility to the compositions which adds an exotic and fantastical element to the otherwise familiar Symph-Prog approach.

The album begins with a music box playing the 'go to sleep' lullaby theme... hypnogogic tranquility ensues as you begin drifting through an enchanted dreamworld.

This hypnotic spell lasts for nearly the full duration of the album... only slightly broken on the song 'Un Giel De Celluloide' where the female vocalist is mysteriously absent. In her place is the voice of 'Ikkou Nakajima' who sounds to me like a Japanese version of David Byrne. It's still a very good song with beautiful flute and synthesizer instrumentation... but i do believe it was a slight mis-step to bring in a different lead vocalist here. I can only imagine it was a choice made for lyrical content, which doesn't translate at all for non-Japanese speaking listeners.

The rest of the album is absolute perfection in my view... every song is a highlight. I would site 'Vexation' as my personal favorite: an enthralling and trance-inducing epic featuring a Genesis-like acoustic guitar and flute intro with some of the most lovely vocals on the album and the sound of a cooing baby in the background... followed by an excellent extended up-tempo instrumental section.

Japan seemed to be the only place in the world still producing top quality Symphonic Prog music in the mid-80's... and this is the greatest recorded testament to that fact that i've heard so far. That scene is well worth exploring if you are only familiar with the classic 70's bands... and this is the perfect album to start with.

This is a depressingly under-rated album and is (for my tastes) a true masterpiece! If this album were released in 1976 instead of 1986 i think more people would agree with me. Highly recommended to all Symphonic Prog fanatics... especially those with an interest in Japanese culture and music.

Report this review (#202860)
Posted Sunday, February 15, 2009 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Another ´lost´ gem of the progressive scene in Japan of the 80´s. I was always amazed of how many good groups japan had at the time. I found out about this group only recently and what a nice surprise it was! Their sound is quite unique being a mix of symphonic prog with some japanese folk mix in (specially the vocal parts). I liked those bombastic keyboards put together with acoustic guitars a la Renaissance and some fine flute. Vocals are a bit acquiring the taste: not bad but also not great either. In fact, Hiroko Nagai, who also handles the keyboards, sings with passion and convinction, even if I didn´t like her timbre too much.

Production is quite good and their songwriting is excellent. Every track is a mini epic with many shifting moods and fine arrangements. They sure had a style of their own by the time they recorded La Mosaique De La Rêveie. they sound like no one in particular, and yet the overall sound is quite familiar and pleasant. There are no highlights nor fillers, all the album flows quite evenly. If you don´t mind those typical japanese vocals and lyrics, I recommended it highly.

Report this review (#215720)
Posted Thursday, May 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Cesar Inca
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Pageant was one of those interesting progressive rock items that emerged in the Japanese 80s scene while the big giants of the genre had declined for good. Pageant refused to be pigeonholed within the neo-prog territory (unlike their comaptriot act Outer Limits) and chose to calibrate the influences of classic Genesis, classic Renaissance and classic Camel, instead. Also, Pageant is very keen on instilling Far Eastern airs into its compositions to a somewhat large degree, not unlike other brilliant compatriot acts named Ain Soph and Bellaphon. This band can also be appreciated as the threshold to another one, Mr. Sirius, soon to be formed and led by flutist-guitarist Kazuhiro Mitayake. His intervention in teh Pegant line-up was actually an eleventh hour addition, which possibily indicates that his entry was the factor that allowed this band to ultimately create such a solid sonic scheme for a debut album. The album is full of recognizable melodic hooks, delivered with grandiose energy in the rockier parts. Well, now let's go for the album's repertoire itself. The namesake track kicks off the album with musical box noises and then develops a very rich framework of melody and harmony that bears a typical symphonic feel. 'Vexation' also has much of it, but the emphasis is more focused on the bucolic factor. This opening duo are perfect examples of the way that the band fluidly combines the extroverted and introverted passages, with enough room for specific flute solos and a sense of stamina provided by the powerful keyboard orchestrations. 'Echo' and 'L'Enfer des Poupées' are effective rockers that rely on the straightforward catchiness of the main motifs; comapring both, the former feels more cohesive and bears a tighter compositional structure, even becoming an undisputed highlight of the whole album. 'Rires dans la Nuit' sets another highlight by enhancing the symphonic-meets-pastoral framework of track 2 through an increased dose of symphonic bombast. Less majestic but equally accomplished in terms of melodic development, 'Un Ciel de Celluloid' displays a well- ordained architecture of acoustic guitars, lush keyboards and a loveliest flute solo. 'Epilogue' is the symphonic power ballad that closes down the album with full splendor: the keyboards' input is especially featured here without getting particularly overwhelming, and even the melodic density is toned down a bit when the flute solo emerges. Such an efficient ending is the one required for this lovely progressive rock album from the 80s: Pageant is a mandatory name in the symphonic prog collector's agenda.
Report this review (#285577)
Posted Tuesday, June 8, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Who will enjoy this album?

A recommended album for prog symphonic fans and people who never heard any album of the 80's Japanese prog scene.

What do we have here?

Typical and colourful Japanese symphonic prog album. A lot of luxurious keyboards of course, moog, mellotron, used as background as well as for energetic solos. The piano is used too in some very beautiful quiet sections. The guitar is emotive as Andrew Latimer can be, electric for a couple of great solos, specially the one at the end of "Rire dans la Nuit", and acoustic as the intro of "Echo" or to support some vocals. We cannot forget as well the flute which will remind you its best intervention with Genesis or Camel. The main vocalist Hiroko Nagai has a superb voice, not as disturbing as some her compatriots singing like her in Japanese who are simply too high pitched and piercing for me. The highlights here are the tracks "La Mosaique De La Reverie" which open the album, and "Rire Dans La Nuit" with some part well inspired by of "Firth of Firth". The sensitive ballad "Epilogue" closes magnificently the album.

Why I rate it 3 stars:

Despite the album however remains good throughout; the typical 80's sound (of the drum for example) and the singer voice can be sometimes (only sometimes) annoying if you are not used to it.

Report this review (#306754)
Posted Tuesday, October 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars The first studio albun from Japanese band PAGEANT "La Mosaique de La Reverie", is a good example of the possibility of to make a brilliant work of progressive music, without great individual performances (since the musicians aren't virtuous, but only good musicians) besides the band don't sounds like a "cheap copy" of their main influences : GENESIS and in smaller scale CAMEL and RENAISSANCE . A interesting point in this albun, is the use of 6 and 12 strings in addition with eletric guitar in attempt of create a more lyrical atmosphere,as for instance in the track 1 "La Mosaïque De La Rêverie " , track 2 "Vexation", track 5 "Rires Dans La nuit" and the track 6 "Un Giel De Celluloide" ( in this track for create a more folk "landscape" ). Another strong point are in the female vocals, which are very pleasant and without exacerbation ( an exception in terms of Japanese bands). Although all the tracks in this albun are great, I wish to detach more 2 tracks, the track 3 "Echo" a overpowering heavy-symphonic prog with a keyboard solo in Wakeman/Banks style and the track 4 "L'Enfer Des Poupées" with a martial therme. Due to this my rate is 4 stars !!!
Report this review (#550728)
Posted Saturday, October 15, 2011 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Among the hottest names of the 80's Japanese Symph Prog movement, Pageant were found in 1981 by ex-Fromage guitarist Ikkou Nakajima along with keyboardist Ieteru Monno and joined soon by female singer Hiroko Naga, bassist Nobuyuki Nagashima and drummer Shirokatsu Sato.In 1982 Sato and Monno were replaced by ex-Scheherezade Hideaki Indou on drums, while Naga took on the keyboard duties.During the spring of 85' a Pageant track appeared on the ''Progressive battle'' sampler, leading to a contract with Made in Japan Records.The recordings of the band's debut took place between December 85' and January 86' at the Jam Studios in Osaka, featuring also bassist Kazuhiko Yamada and guitarist/flute player Kazuhiro ''Mr.Sirius'' Miyatake, who also spent time with Mugen around the period.

Pageant were among the few bands trying to avoid the cheesiness of many Japanese prog acts of the time, leaning towards the Classical education of Naga on vocals and keyboards and leaving aside the bombastic synthesizer stylings.So the music of the band relied heavily on Nakajima's guitar work, offering some splendid breaks and evident Classical influences, but there was also plenty of space left to Miyatake for a strong amount of acoustic guitars and delightful flute passages.The keyboards are distinct with alternating grandiose synthesizers and nice organ throughout.The arrangements of the band are mostly interesting, following the symphonic fundamentals with light interplays and plenty of good melodies.The two shorter tracks however still contain the familiar flaws of the Japanese scene: Groovy cinematic prog with a rather plastic sound and average vocals by an otherwise quite decent vocalist like Naga.From the (good) rest of the album ''Un Giel De Celluloide'' shines through: Excellent Symphonic Rock with dramatic moments, surprisingly the only one where Nakajima himself handles the vocals.

The decent fame that followed the band throughout their short career finds some good reasons in ''La Mosaïque de la Reverie'', with most of its part being well-played and often romantic Symphonic Rock with Retro influences and a good effort next to the files of MUGEN and SHINGETSU.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Report this review (#627431)
Posted Monday, February 6, 2012 | Review Permalink
Avant/Cross/Neo/Post Teams
4 stars A rock combo PAGEANT can be called as one of Japanese symphonic rock progenitors positively inspired by Genesis and 70s British progressive rock scene. The album "La Mosa'que De La R'verie" was released in 1986 as their debut creation, and it's said long time and much money were needed for the production. Well understood PAGEANT needed much expensive stuff, and this album sounds of another Japanese Fantasia for being launched in 1986. Exposure not simply of Genesis' flavour and view, but apparently of Japanese cultural dramatic "cartoon-ish" texture, can be appreciated.

Their instrumental technique is beyond expression really. For almost all of Japanese in 1980s progressive rock might be symphonic rock, and artists had tried hard to make soundscape decently symphonic we can imagine easily. Hiroko's voices sound not cute nor lovely but sharp-edged and theatrical. No suspicion she should lead this whole combo to enthusiastic sound space. In the current progressive rock scene this music style flooded with mysterious tragic storytelling melody and lyrics is not rare nor innovative but yes, 30 years before! As the frontman Ikko says, "Un Giel De Celluloide" is not fit for such a dramatic narrative touch but anything. Let me emphasize especially the titled track composed / written by Hiroko is full of creativity and original sound points of view. Unforeseeable melodic stream of the story drives the audience crazy thrilling. We should listen to and digest this stuff out without any breath. What a supra-impressive one.

For various reasons above mentioned, this album is impressive even now. One of authenticities in Japanese progressive rock world, we can call ... like the mystic sleeve pic!

Report this review (#1704119)
Posted Tuesday, March 21, 2017 | Review Permalink
5 stars It is a masterpiece, it is so good that I am sad that I don't speak Japanese and can't understand the lyrics. Progressive music is emotion and this album is emotion, makes one sing along (even though I probably get over 50% pronounced wrong and would be laughed at from a Japanese - even if I had a good voice). I know there is a video from the 80's with Pageant, Mugen and Outer Limits playing at the Silver Elephant (I believe in Tokyo), and from the video I (and many other fans) digged the album. It should be a DVD from this video on the market, I never found a original one. Does anyone has the lyrics translated to english or portuguese? Thank you for the music.
Report this review (#1938776)
Posted Tuesday, June 12, 2018 | Review Permalink

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