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QUI EST AMANDA?

Amanda

Neo-Prog


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Amanda Qui Est AmAndA? album cover
3.15 | 17 ratings | 2 reviews | 6% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Intro (0:09)
1. Le Faux Eveil (5:07)
3. Welcome. (3:52)
4. Qui Est Amanda? (4:31)
5. Les Ailes Du Désir (3:01)
6. Falaises (21:44)
7. Gloria Victis! (5:43)
8. La Fin d'Une Histoire (3:59)
9. Demain (6:40)
10. Final (2:03)

Total Time: 56:53

Line-up / Musicians

- Thierry De Halleux / singer and master of ceremony
- Mik 3 (Michael Cauchies) / keyboards
- Grek / drums
- Saaam / guitars
- Claude / bass

Releases information

auto-released

Thanks to Sean Trane for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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AMANDA Qui Est AmAndA? ratings distribution


3.15
(17 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
6%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(47%)
47%
Good, but non-essential (41%)
41%
Collectors/fans only (0%)
0%
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)
6%

AMANDA Qui Est AmAndA? reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars New Belgian act,hailing from the small village of Jollain-Merlin near the Belgian-French borders.They were formed in 1999 by theatrical singer Thibaut de Halleux and keyboardist Mik 3 (real name: Michael Cauchies),initially performing as a trio.Moving on as a keys/voice/bass/guitar/drums quintet,Amanda self-released their debut ''Qui est Amanda ?'' (Who is Amanda?) in 2002.

Modern melodic progressive rock with Classical inspirations and strong elements from Opera is what the listener has to deal with here.Everything seems to start and end in Halleux's theatrical singing and Mik3's keyboards here.The tracks feature a mainly grandiose operatic atmosphere with high-pitched vocals and Classical-influenced keys.Mik3 uses a variety of synths to capture the atmosphere of Classical Music and Opera,the result is often very attractive,but the sound could certainly be richer.Comparisons with ANGE are strong and eventual,from the numerous vocal-based breaks to the constant use of symphonic keys,though with a more modern edge.Weird enough the shorter tracks work better for the band,containing nerve,energy and groove under this operatic symphonicism.The long epic ''Falaises'' is rather too long,too soft,too melancholic and too melodic to be either conveincing or fully appreciated,some more dynamics would help.Some nice guitar solos are also in the menu,but the rest of the band definitely remains in the background.

Amanda's first album is a good proposal for anyone into modern grandiose Symphonic Rock with a theatrical vibe and fans of a stronger keyboard-driven sound.A richer and more balanced sound would help the band reach the top of the prog league but nevertheless their debut is quite interesting and partly original.Recommended.

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
3 stars D'but album from one of the more melodic group from Belgium in recent years, AmAndA started out as quartet shelling out some rather straight songs that are hovering between modern chanson fran'aise and some brilliant sophisticated pop-rock. The group is particularly strong in the vocal department, as the lead singer Thibaut has a very interesting and wide range, and he's very aptly complemented by keyboardist Mik3, who provides some excellent supplementary 'voce', more or less in the same range and register. Guitarist Saam and drummer Greg complete the quartet. But as much as Thibaut and Mik3 are an earful, you'll get plenty more 'voces' spread unevenly throughout the album's ten songs (which include a short self-titled intro, courtesy of Mik3's keyboards), you'll also find plenty of backing vocals from the group's friends and even a proper choir called A Piu Voci, of which Thibaut is a member.

Behind the scratchy-vinyl sonics, Mik's keys and an oboe open in a very pastoral manner the album, leading directly in the intimate Le Faux Eveil, a piece that evolves slowly and escapes a bit the standard song format, partly due to Thibaut's falsetto chant, segueing in a church-like Latin choir at the end. Despite its title, Welcome is a brilliant French-sung piece where Mik's synths are reminiscent of poppier prog that dominated the 80's (but don't carry the poor characteristics/flaws of that era), but again, it's the vocal arrangements that pull the trick. Ailes Du D'sir is a darker piece opening on a pedestrian bass (pedals most likely, since there is no dedicated bassist at this stage) and a short organ line, but once the first verse is in, the typical group sonics comes out. As with the following very ambitious 20-mins+ Falaises, you might be tempted to think of Canadian group Saga; but AmAndA is not afraid to break away (sometimes abruptly, but never hors-de-propos) in different direction. At times, one could also think of Marillion with Fish on Quaaludes, but AmAndA is so much more than that' Some of the sonic moods can remind of Queen's more adventurous musical adventures as well. After that epic centrepiece, one would expect the album to lower in intensity, but the following Gloria Victis goes Gregorian (closer to Carmina Burana than Magma) to maintain the suspense. However as its title hints, La Fin D'Une Histoire also announces the drop of intensity we feared. The upbeat Demain is unable to reverse the tendency and the effect-laden Final is little more than an afterthought.

Qui Est AmAndA will probably not appeal right away to progheads, because despite the originality of some songs (all sung in French), as some of the numbers don't hold much 'proginess', but might make you reminisce a bit about Saga, Queen or even Ange. If you don't master French, you might have trouble following the interesting and thoughtful lyrics, because the texts are not fully reproduced in the booklet and even migrate from one page to the other without much a warning, not to mention the inaccurate track separations or incrementing. A very encouraging self-produced debut album, but certainly not without its share of flaws, but the armchair artwork is certainly a good place to discover the band's sonics'. Better start with their next album (La Maison De Flore), though.

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