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Contraction - La Bourse ou la Vie CD (album) cover

LA BOURSE OU LA VIE

Contraction

Crossover Prog


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Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
4 stars By the time the second Contraction album was out, their mentor Frank Dervieux was dead and they dedicated their second and final record to him. The line-up stayed pretty stable but by now they had a solid partnership with the Perotte brothers, one of them is producing and the other drumming. The music developed in this album is the logical progression of their debut, not only in songwriting, but also in terms of all around musicianship. Christiane Robichaud is impressive in the imaginative use of her slightly above average but very pleasing voice and still delivering typical Quebecois -tinged French lyrics. Again, most of the music falls under the Laferriere & Lachapelle tandem with Stanley take the forefront with his fluid guitar lines and the occasional flute breaks from Miller. Again the first side is full of shorter tunes, some of them a bit in the radio-song format, but is book-ended by the Jos Coeur. Among the highlights would be a very strange but wonderful adaptation of nursery rhyme A La Claire Fontaine and the play on words of L'Alarme à l'Oeuil (instead of tears in the eye , it is the alert in your eyes).

Yes, you are all waiting to know what the second side sounds like especially the 18 min title track! Mostly by this track is responsible of their inclusion on this site, and the detour is well worth it if you are investigating Quebecois prog. The long instrumental passages are very imaginative , loose (as is generally their overall style) yet full of small surprises, somehow in between more typical French songs , sizzling rock passages , jazzy arrangements and more classical influences mostly coming from the KBs. This is such a climax, that one forgets the last track or more likely includes it as the epilogue into the 18 min multi-movement suite.

Most of these guys will play in other bands such as Harmonium, Toubabou and some in the collective Ville Emmard Blues Band (better known as VEBB) that were anything but blues. Some tracks were foreseen for their third album but only saw the light of the day on bassist Laferrièrre's solo album, La Cuisine Rouge. This album can be seen as one of the most representative of the Quebec prog scene, although it is not among the best coming out of La Belle Province.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#35644)
Posted Wednesday, June 08, 2005 | Review Permalink
loserboy
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars As you know I am a huge fan of the 70's Prog Quebec scene and certainly one of the greats were Contraction. "La Bourse ou la vie" (money or life) was their second release and further expanded Contraction's sound into a more progressive camp. On this album is also wrote and recorded a superb 18 Mins epic title track which in itself is worth the admission ! Fans of Harmonium and Beau Dommage will love this album. Contraction blend ethernal flutes, with great guitar and great bass and drum interplay and mixed in is the lovely voice of Christiane Robichaud. Musically this band offer some great musicanship and creative song writing which will please all prog rock fans.

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Send comments to loserboy (BETA) | Report this review (#223804)
Posted Monday, June 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars CONTRACTION are one of the many incredible bands to come out of Quebec in the seventies.The band was formed by singer Christiane Robichaud and bassist / composer Yves Laferriere, both of whom had been part of Frank Dervieux's band.The significance of this was that Frank's album "Dimension" was considered by many to be the first Progressive album to come out of Quebec as it was released in 1971. Franck had sadly been diagnosed with cancer hence these two going out and forming this band called CONTRACTION.This is their second album and by this time Frank had passed away so they dedicated this record to him. Lots of female vocal melodies in this melodic yet sophisticated and intricate release. This was a pleasure to listen to.

"Jos Coeur (Overture)" is a short intro track with vocal melodies. "L'alarme A L'oeil" is a mood altering track because it's so upbeat and has plenty of those vocal melodies too. A change after 1 1/2 minutes as piano joins in then it settles after 2 minutes with more vocal melodies.Themes are then repeated. Cool. "Claire Fontaine" is very laid back with sparse piano and faint vocal melodies. A light beat and intricate guitar joins in.Vocals 2 minutes in. Nice bass when she stops singing. "Sam m'Madown" puts more emphasis on the vocals and she puts on a show. "Jos Coeur (Fermeture)" opens with faint sounds then it starts to come to life before a minute.Vocal melodies follow then it picks up around 3 minutes with the guitar leading.Vocal melodies then return. "Vent Du Sud" is a short dreamy tune.

"La Bourse Ou Le Vie" is slow to get going then vocal melodies arrive 1 1/2 minutes in before it kicks into gear. Great sound here with drums, guitar, bass and keys standing out. It settles after 5 minutes but it's still powerful. It picks back up at 7 minutes. A calm before 8 minutes as reserved vocals, bass and piano take over. It picks up some 10 minutes in. A calm again 12 minutes in with piano only.Vocal melodies before 13 1/2 minutes then vocals before 15 minutes as the sound builds. Nice guitar before 17 minutes. "L'ame A Tout Faire" has a good heavy sound to it to start. It settles right down before 2 minutes with vocal melodies then she starts to sing words as it builds. It kicks in again after 3 minutes.

If your a fan of the Quebec Prog scene of the seventies (who isn't) you need to check this band out.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#438800)
Posted Monday, April 25, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars In Canadian progressive rock scenery from the 70's certainly, CONTRACTION are "framed" in the same style of another Canadian band OCTOBRE. However, this "La Bourse Or La Vie" ( that I consider their best work) isn't not in the same level from "Survivance" ( in my opinion the best album from OCTOBRE), neverthelessi is a good work, full of beautiful female vocals and some jazzy influences. The best tracks are: track 2 "L'Alarme À l'Oeil" ,track 5 "Joes Coeur (fermeture) and track 7 "La Bourse or La Vie!" the most really progressive tracks . My rate is 3 stars -Good but not essential- with the reservation that this album figures in my collection !!!

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Send comments to maryes (BETA) | Report this review (#936769)
Posted Friday, March 29, 2013 | Review Permalink

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