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Aragon Mouse album cover
3.16 | 68 ratings | 9 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1995

Songs / Tracks Listing

- Act 1 - The Dark :
1. The Dark (2:05)
2. A Private Matter (1:36)
3. The Sweet Unknown (3:30)
4. The Gate (1:38)
- Act 2 - The Faceless Face of the Faceless Majority :
5. End of the Line (Part 1) (1:22)
6. End of the Line (Part 2) (2:42)
7. Next Please (0:15)
8. Untying the Knot (Part 1) (1:32)
9. Untying the Knot (Part 2) (1:57)
10. Untying the Knot (Part 3) (1:06)
- Act 3 - Under the Eye :
11. Cold in a Warm Place (5:31)
12. The Gathering (2:03)
13. Under the Eye (2:17)
- Act 4 - The Forgotten Child :
14. In Deepest Sympathy (2:46)
- Act 5 - The Meeting (was initially released separately)
- Act 6 - The Art of Faith :
15. Burning Off (0:53)
16. A Room and One Door (1:45)
17. Shocked (0:06)
18. The Gauntlet (2:16)
19. The Sheer Joy of Creation (4:02)
20. The Waiting Room (0:25)
- Act 7 - Machine :
21. At the Mercy of Lions (3:13)
22. Waiting for the Big One (Part 1) (0:47)
23. Waiting for the Big One (Part 2) (3:55)
24. At Heaven's Gate (0:56)
25. Hello God (3:59)
26. Brave New World (5:37)
27. The Stage Door (0:04)
- Act 8 - Carving Out Time :
28. The Switch (2:34)
29. The Cross (5:00)
30. Auld Lang Syne (1:22)

Total Time 67:14

Bonus tracks on 1999 double-CD expanded edition:
- Act 5 - The Meeting :
16. The Meeting (3:22)
17. The Chant (3:17)
18. Midsummer's Night Dream (2:23)
19. Tugging at the Heartstring (3:25)
20. The Changeling (9:42)
21. On the Edge (5:12)
14. The Creation of Mouse (interview) (12:25)

Line-up / Musicians

- Les Dougan / vocals
- John Poloyannis / guitars
- Tom Behrsing / keyboards

- Tony Hicks / saxophone

Note: The actual instrumentation could not be confirmed at this moment

Releases information

CD SI Music ‎- SI3069-2 (1995, Netherlands)
2CD LaBraD'or Records ‎- LBD 040005 (1999, Netherlands) Remastered by Marc Brassť including "Act 5" tracks (released separately in 1992 as "The Meeting") plus a bonus interview and new cover art

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ARAGON Mouse ratings distribution

(68 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (15%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

ARAGON Mouse reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Alucard
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Dum, dum , dum dum ...I see faces and traces of home, back in NYC! Yes the return of the big, fat bassline. Quiet funny because they don't even have a bassplayer. This one sounds definetely Lamb-inspired. I really like the production and the arrangements too, apparently a lot of programming. I don't know if they do life shows but their studio work is very good. You feel the Genesis influence, but they got their own style. It'sa concept album too... and there is even a title called waiting room. Well, what I don't like are the vocals. The singer reminds of the Rush Singer, whom I don't like so much either.
Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars Next please

Many years in the making, Aragon's Mouse finally appeared in 1995. This lengthy conceptual album in eight 'acts' had already been discussed by the band as early as straight after the release of their debut album in the late 80's. Due to pressure from fans and record companies, they decided to release act five of Mouse separately in 1992 as The Meeting even though the whole was far from finished. The original 1995 version of Mouse did not include the previously released act five, but a re-mastered re-release appeared in 1999 that contains all eight acts (as well as new art work, the story of Mouse and an audio interview with the band about the making of the album). As I have rated The Meeting tracks already (with three stars), I will concentrate on the rest of Mouse here.

My first impression of this album was that it was fragmentary and disjointed. Many of the tracks are very short and intended to function as link pieces. The problem is that there is not much for them to link to! Many passages feel like transportation and this reviewer's opinion is that there is just too much of that. Excluding the (very good and) previously released The Meeting tracks, there are not that many 'full-fledged' songs on Mouse. Having that said there are some good moments here also, but generally they are too few and too far between. Maybe there was a conflict between two very different objectives; that of telling the story, on the one hand, and that of making good music, on the other. Both the story and the music seem to have suffered as a result. There is certainly a shortage of memorable melodies.

Some spoken word passages seem out of place and distract from the flow of the album, rather than enhance it. As I mentioned above, the booklet (of the 1999 double CD version that I have) features the story of Mouse, but to be honest I have not managed to get through it. In the bonus interview on disc two, it is mentioned that the story is a layered one about (1) life in general, (2) about a character called Mouse and (3) about the history of the band! Maybe they just bit off more than they could chew?

Musically, Mouse is clearly inspired by Genesis' The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. There is even a track called The Waiting Room (but there is no further connection between the two tracks as this one is just a short piece of pointless dialogue). Aragon do have their own approach but I think that it came to its right much better on both some earlier and some later releases of theirs. While the 1999 re-release of Mouse is now (I suppose) the best and easiest way to get hold of The Meeting (act five), which is well worth hearing, I cannot give Mouse as a whole more than two stars. If you have The Meeting already as a standalone release, this overblown concept album is recommended for you only if you are a fan or collector.

As a side note, I can mention that the artwork (which is different from the one displayed here on PA, which I suppose is the original 1995 artwork) reflects the band's Australian origin. It features a photograph that (I suppose) was taken somewhere in the red Australian dessert.

Review by Warthur
2 stars I guess the point of this album was to return to the band's progressive routes, after the rather commercial direction they took in Don't Bring the Rain. Unfortunately, this double-CD concept album fails to convince. Once again, the keyboard sound is decent and the vocals by Les Dougan are alright, but the band rather lacks for strong compositions, with what few good ideas the band have being diluted to the point of irrelevance in order to fill out the narrative. The album ends up being all filler and no killer, the concept is incoherent, and on the whole the brilliant potential shown on the Rocking Horse release is pretty much completely squandered by this point.
Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Aragon had been working on a monster concept/autobiographical album since the start of the 90's, which was actually a slow work in progress, which ''Rocking horse...'' surpassed through the sands of time.Actually the 92' mini-album ''The meeting'' was the fifth act of this long work, which the band managed to finish by mid-90's.With respect to the fans, who had already purchased the fifth act a few years back, the album ''The mouse'' was released in 1995 without the pieces of ''The meeting''.Three years later the full work was re-released by LaBraD'or Records in a double-CD edition.

This is a collection of thirty tracks, flowing in a tight cohesion and passing through tons of different moods, all of them connected to the already familiar style of Aragon.No epics or even mid-length pieces, ''The mouse'' is a story unfolding via very short tunes in the vein of PENDRAGON and CLEPSYDRA, fronted by the trademark fast paces of the band, the use of many dreamy instrumentals and the aggressive vocals of Les Dougan.Of course the somewhat synthetic keyboard sound and the overall plastic production, which comes along with all Aragon releases, is not among the advantages of the album, it seems at moments that the sound quality has been stuck sometime in the mid-80's.Otherwise this is another decent effort by the group, not always sealing its extended length, but containing good enough material with theatrical singing, rockin' grooves and even symphonic backdrops in a MARILLION/mid-70's GENESIS vein.Maybe they should have used a larger number of longer pieces, because some of these arrangements are fascinating, for example ''Cold in a warm place'' gives plenty of room for variations between CAMEL, GENESIS and PINK FLOYD overtones and a very poetic vocal performance by Dougan, ''The sheer joy of creation'' reminds of the greatest days of old ABEL GANZ with its playful guitar, sweet keyboards and emphatic vocals, ''Brave new world''features a a slow development from background echoes to more bombastic music with sentimental solos, while ''The cross'' is a fantastic, old-styled MARILLION-like tune with another Dougan monumental vocal performance and the use of semi-symphonic synths next to discreet New Wave samplers.The good thing about ''The mouse'' is that the are no weak pieces or dead holes in the process, everything seems to be in the right place next to the mass of memorable tunes and pompous instrumental sections.Lack of trully fascinating moments, but the band passed a really hard test on producing a long and consistent album.

For fans of MARILLION, PALLAS, PENDRAGON, ABEL GANZ and IQ, this is strong Neo Prog with efficient melodies and a decent flow among all pieces.Recommended.

Latest members reviews

1 stars This album does everything wrong that it amazes me how people can hail it to such a high regard! The vocals are awfully trying to imitate Peter Gabriel and fail to do so successfully. The substitution of a real, human, drummer and bassist by these synthesized and computerized instruments for thei ... (read more)

Report this review (#2873403) | Posted by Madam 365 | Friday, January 6, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars An OMNI that is worth more than a passage through our space! - Act 1 with The Dark prepare yourself for this haunting spatial intro which marks the innovative sound, A Private Matter yes a synthetic drums, either you stop, filthy for you for a prog album or you surpass and you enter the world of AR ... (read more)

Report this review (#2374716) | Posted by alainPP | Sunday, April 26, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars True: this can be a very difficult album to review, becouse of its own structure. There are 30 tracks in the first edition and 35 in the latest one. Some of those tracks are musical sketches, in which some good ideas are not fully exploited and this can be deceiving for some listeners. But the ... (read more)

Report this review (#125234) | Posted by Dalex_61 | Saturday, June 9, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I have this album (CD) for some time now and it is one of my favorites. A truly fantastic story line. The music goes trought all of life emotions. These guys have also managed to get the production perfect. The Bass and drums sounds pretty dawn good for a band without these musicians. Allot of ... (read more)

Report this review (#59934) | Posted by | Friday, December 9, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars A real mixed bag of an album and one that ultimately disappoints. It has all the right elements for a classic album, strong concept (even if it borrows a little too much from "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway"), some good melodies and musical sequies and lyrics that balance progressing the story ... (read more)

Report this review (#862) | Posted by Dave Preston | Monday, October 4, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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