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Rousseau - At The Cinema CD (album) cover

AT THE CINEMA

Rousseau

Symphonic Prog


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lor68
PROG REVIEWER
1 stars Sorry but I'm very disappointed about it!! I think of their best album "Retreat", talking about such splendid instrumentals like "Breakfast at Tyffany's", and now I can't believe it!! Has this recent album been issued by the same band?!? The present album consists of 14 very tepid songs, lacking of the flute and of the whole sound of "Light Canterbury" as well...moreover here They alternatebanal melodies to the old (a very few ones) pleasant atmospheres, but my opinion doesn't change at all, I'm very disappointed about it!!

Therefore I don't understand whether it is their nostalgia concerning their comeback to a Recording Studio or the intention to get fun with an easier and easier stuff!! I don't know the reason but it never minds, cause the light sound of Canterbury will be in my opinion always represented by their best album "Retreat" or by "MoonMadness" by Camel, without forgetting other important issues like those ones by Recordando O Vale Das Macas or other SouthAmerican "Canterburian" bands.

Try other light (but more clever) stuff concerning this genre!!

Report this review (#28550)
Posted Wednesday, May 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I wondered what was the kick for "Rousseau" to get togehter fifteen years after their last album. Not the pleasure to be together again since only two members played on "Square The Circle" : Pfeffer on drums and Hofman on the keys. The magic of their first two albums is maybe not fully present on this one but it is still not a bad album.

My favourite song of this album is "Rendez-Vous". Full of melody and beauty. Very soft start, but it'll get a litle wilder once Scharz will produce a Gilmouresque guitar solo. A great and emotional part; no doubt.

We won't leave the Floyding mood with "All I Want" but not for the same reasons. On this one, it will be the voice that is related to David. Just average (not Dave but the track). Another highlight of the album is "Waterfront". The guitar play is again excellent (reminds me Josh from Mostly Autumn). "If This Is Heaven" surprisingly explores a bit the folkish mood. The link with Mostly Autumn is again easy (same apllies to "Back In These Arms" which also features a nice violin break).

We'll be reverted to the old "Rousseau" sound as well with "Retreat". Extremely sweet and full of harmony. It is a wonderful and peaceful song like the band has produced a lot. Some weak moments as well on this album. Actually, from "Seattle" through ..."Through" (sorry about this) the album is getting poor.

As usual, we' ll have a title in French (I wonder why they did so...). "Amour Fou" (crazy love) has nothing to do with a crazy song : not so exciting unfortunately.

The last song is again a very tranquil and very nice one. Seems that Rousseau wanted to say goodbye like they said hello some twenty-years ago with "Flower In Asphalt". I have to say that it is a wonderful goodbye. On par with "Rendez-Vous".

This album is of course far from being essential but still, it holds some good songs not too far from the spirit of their early releases. Like I have mentioned, several songs remind me of MA. For the first time as well, the new lead singer sounds good.

Three stars.

Report this review (#132853)
Posted Sunday, August 12, 2007 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Reviewer
2 stars Rousseau is a German outfit that released three albums in the Eighties (all of which are available on Musea), and after fourteen years with nothing have released an album of all new material. I have to say that this quite a strange album to play as it is virtually an instrumental followed by a song, followed by an instrumental all the way through which is certainly uncommon. The album commences with a piano-led instrumental, which although quite short and pleasant did make me think that I would be listening to an album of laid back classical instrumentals and nothing else.

But, the songs themselves are quite different, and are sung in English so they are easy to understand. This is music that is very heavily influenced by Camel, and nothing wrong with that I hear you say. Jörg Schwarz has a voice that is sometimes reminiscent of Nick Barrett and if another band could be looked for within Rousseau's music than it would be Pendragon, particularly when it is uplifting and full of pomp. I would have preferred to hear an album that wasn't quite so formulaic in it's' outlook and containing less of the instrumentals but overall this is a pleasant listen while not groundbreaking or earth shattering.

Originally appeared in Feedback #71, Dec 02

Report this review (#978659)
Posted Saturday, June 15, 2013 | Review Permalink
kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog-Folk Team
3 stars This project from long running German chamber prog group ROUSSEAU appeared 15 years after their previous release, and 20+ years have now passed with no hint of a reunion beyond a 2008 compilation with a few original songs. Of course, if Mark Twain and my recent reviews have taught us anything about groups' demises, it's that such rumours can prove to be exaggerated.

Several factors conspire to make "At the Cinema" the least essential ROUSSEAU album, chiefly the absences of Christoph Huster on flutes and Herbert G Ruppik on vocals. The woodwinds aren't even substituted with synthesized versions, while one Joerg Schwarz takes up the sung parts on the 5 non-instrumentals. Regarding his singing, the best that can be said is that he is a good guitarist. Actually, that's not quite fair, and if I hadn't had enough of JOHN COUGAR, BRYAN ADAMS and THE TRAVELING WILBURYs in prior decades I might not be so harsh. These tunes, apart from "Back in these Arms", aren't grotesque but they are highly predictable and cliched, the best being "All I want" if only, but not only, because the answer "is everything" is pop perfection. "If this is Heaven" is also decent, with a fine piano outro.

Speaking of keyboards, those of the returning "Rainer Hofmann" are key to the modest artistic achievement here, highlighted by the two thematic pieces, "Halland" and "Retreat", while "Waterfront" is the consummate showing by Joerg Schwarz.

ROUSSEAU was never the most exciting band, but even on "At the Cinema", they solidified their reputation as the symphonic prog fan's equivalent of a comforting classic film in a romantic old fashioned movie house.

Report this review (#2975743)
Posted Tuesday, December 19, 2023 | Review Permalink

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