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French TV


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French TV The Case Against Art album cover
3.37 | 32 ratings | 2 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. That Thing on the Wall (8:53)
2. Viable Tissue Matter (11:45)
3. Partly the State (10:30)
4. One Humiliating Incident After Another (9:18)
5. Under the Big 'W' (14:18)

Total Time: 54:44

Line-up / Musicians

- Chris Smith / guitar & violin (1,3), banjo (1), mandolin (3), strings (4)
- Warren Dale / keyboards, sax (3,4), recorder (3), clarinet (4,5), woodwind (1)
- Mike Sary / bass, producer
- Chris Vincent / drums

- Dean Zigoris / guitar (2,5)
- Gregory Acker / sax (2,5), flute (2,4,5)
- Kathy Moller / violin (2,5)
- Cliff Fortney / vocals, flute & recorder (3)
- Shawn Persinger / acoustic guitar (3)
- Kirk Davis / percussion (3)
- Karen Hyer / soprano vocals (3)
- Stephen Dale / trumpet & euphonium (4)
- Pam Thompson / tuba (5)

Releases information

Artwork: David Hiser (photo)

CD Pretentious Dinosaur Records - CD006 (2001, US)

FLAC download -

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FRENCH TV The Case Against Art ratings distribution

(32 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(52%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

FRENCH TV The Case Against Art reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by The Owl
4 stars Now THIS is what progressive rock is about! The ability to take a number of diverse musical influences and make something uniquely your own and actually create something new that genuinely progresses!

Under the baton of bassist Mike Sary, French TV since 1983 has created uncompromising yet engaging and dare I say even FUN progressive music. Taking its cues from far flung sources as Canterbury, Zappa, Stravinsky, RIO, Carl Stalling/Raymond Scott cartoon music, circus music and other things too numerous to mention, a curious, restless seething musical brew pours forth that simultaneously goes for the cerebral cortex and the funny bone.

"That Thing On The Wall" is a killer opening track that is all over the map, and from there, the listening gets no easier but man it's so much fun to hang onto the back of this musical roller-coaster. "Partly The State" has a brief vocal section with Cliff Fortney, who played with Happy The Man" in their earlier stages. All throughout, no one instrument dominates, but rather, the band serves up a well-balanced colorful sonic palette full of surprises. Not one weak track on here at all, and dare I say, well worth buying.

Plus, you'll also enjoy the hilaious liner notes by one Mac Belieu (who has the distinction of being the proud recipient of a brochure from the Berklee College of Music).

Review by Sinusoid
2 stars For a bit of time, I thought that French TV was one of the coolest underground bands I had discovered. They play a complex breed of music stemming from the depths of Cantebury, jazz fusion, RIO and other what-have-nots, throw in a bit of nonsense humour to ''ground themselves'' and sport some of the most hilarious liner notes this side of Frank Zappa. Naturally, I wanted to keep getting more works from them, but this album made me hit ''that thing on the wall'' a lot faster than I had anticipated.

While THE VIOLENCE OF AMATEURS is a great album in its own right, two songs in ''Tiger Tea'' and ''Mail Ordered Quarks'' weren't exactly my thing; way too serious and deviod of a memorable moment. It seems as if THE CASE AGAINST ART is trying to channel those two pieces alone and milk them out over an entire album. To put it bluntly, I was the least bit amused. What happened to the funny stuff like ''The Kokonimo Stomp''?

Beats me, although I'm sure plenty of people would enjoy having a few words with me. The only speck of funny I could find was the carnival atmosphere of that big ''W'' song at the end, but it didn't last long enough and didn't come early enough in the album for me to really care. I will admit that ''That Thing on the Wall'' is the most standout (I hesitate to say best) track here, but that's probably a byproduct of coming first and the rest of the album swimming in a sea of blah.

Any serious music fan looking for some unknown thing might be interested in this album. If you want pep, loudness, humour or excitement, then look elsewhere across a good chunk of the prog spectrum. It has music kudos, but it seems to lack focus and direction. Then again, I realize that most progsters might enjoy this album if heard, and I'm probably in a countable minority.

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