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June Wallack

Prog Folk

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June Wallack June Wallack album cover
3.71 | 15 ratings | 1 reviews | 7% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1- On est rien qu'des amis ici (4:35)
2- Pour qui tu m'prends (3:39)
3- Mirage (8:07)
4- Don't Explain (5:37)
5- Amalgame (5:03)
6- Je suis venue un soir (6:49)
7- Sur la colline (3:54)
8- Déjà c'est l'automne (7:47)

Total Time: 45:31

Line-up / Musicians

- June Wallack / Vocals, flute, piano
- Bill Gagnon / Bass
- Pierre Nadeau / Keyboards
- Michel Robidoux / Guitar
- Moose Tellier / Guitar
- Dennis Farmer / Drums

Releases information


Thanks to Tsevir Leirbag for the addition
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JUNE WALLACK June Wallack ratings distribution

(15 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(7%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (20%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

JUNE WALLACK June Wallack reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ClemofNazareth
4 stars June Wallack shows great musical range on her lone solo album, even if only parts of it can be considered progressive or, at times, even rock. The multi-instrumental Canadian delivers all the vocals, flute, piano and except for the Billie Holiday cover "Don't Explain" also wrote pretty much all the music for this recording. It's a bit surprising that except for a handful of appearances on other people's albums she never recorded a full-length record again.

The opening "On est Rien qu'des amis Ici" gives the impression this will be a rather simple folk-rock affair with quite lovely French vocals, wispy flute, folksy, traditionally-oriented piano and not much else. Such is not the case though, as Wallack and company kick up a jazzy number with an almost funk rhythm next on "Pour qui qu'tu m'prends" then follow that with the meandering, spastic tempo-riddled "Mirage" that takes full advantage of the heavy and at times almost psychedelic electric guitar work of Michel Robidoux, himself an accomplished songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has recorded with a long list of French Canadian artists that for the most part I've personally never heard of, but then again I'm not at all familiar with much of the contemporary music from the Montreal and Quebec scenes.

Wallack shifts to a lounge act with Holiday's well-known cheatin' husband tune "Don't Explain" that combines a seductive vocal track with jazz-tinged classical piano arrangement in a variation that if nothing else at least beats the hell out of the recent Cat Power version.

The blend of jazz piano/rhythm and seventies progressive keyboard and vacillating tempo make the instrumental "Amalgame" the highlight of the album as far as I'm concerned, even though Wallack's notable vocals are missing save for some few wordless humming and background articulations. This is really an outstanding piece of music that should have ended up on a 'Best of' Canadian compilation record sometime over the past third of a century. There's still time for anyone reading this with a hankering to put out a record like that.

And Ms. Wallack isn't done yet as she slides gracefully into another lounge-lizard tune, the more upbeat "Je suis venue un Soir" (this one an original). Although she doesn't sing a lick of English anywhere on the album it's only on this song that I really care, as the lyrics sound quite intense. I've no idea really what she's singing but the title and general mood suggest the setting is romantic and an outcome that would inspire Rod Stewart.

"Sur la Colline" shifts the music back to a folksy ambience with acoustic guitar including string-bending picking at times that gives a bit of a rustic feel to the song. Ms. Wallack seems to have decided to throw in a nostalgic number either to balance the mood or simply to continue demonstrating her vocal and lyrical range.

And just when I thought this was a random collection of songs she ends with the laconic, peaceful and obviously introspective "Deja C'est L'Automne" with plunky keyboard tinkling evoking the coming of winter amid falling leaves (maple I'm sure) and the implied twilight of relationships and life phases. There's a tempo shift to a sort of theatrical vocal track and cheesy synthesizers mixed with rock power chords midway that doesn't make much sense to me, but eventually the band returns to the meadow-at-sunset motif where Ms. Wallack layers her own voice over itself in a two-party conversational arrangement that once again leads to me wondering what she's singing about, but only wondering a little. The lengthy fadeout makes this a much longer song than it really needed to be, but Wallack achieves the sense of ending and closure she obviously was going for with that arrangement.

I know almost nothing about the history of this record except that it is quite difficult to find today despite having been issued on a major label (RCA). Like I said June Wallack popped up on a couple other albums as a guest singer in the late seventies, but today she plies her trade as a voice-for-hire for businesses, events and even translation work. Not sure if she just decided to reign in the music ambitions or if something caused her to stop recording after this record, but it's too bad because she has quite a lovely voice and (assuming she did the work herself) the arrangements of these songs shows a considerable breadth of musical knowledge and competency.

While I'm not sure the total package quite rises to the level I normally consider to be four- star albums, it is an exceptional collection of music and one of those older albums every serious music fan always enjoys discovering from the distant past. For those reasons I'm going with four stars anyway, and a strong recommendation if you can find a copy.


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