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Aside Beside

Crossover Prog

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Aside Beside Tadj Mahall Gates  album cover
3.32 | 28 ratings | 4 reviews | 18% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Tadj Mahal Gates (4:04) (Aside Beside)
2. Nightmare (7:55) (3D)
3. And I Hate Her (3:38) (Giardina)
4. Autumn (5:29) (Giardina, Woff)
5. You Who Know (2:54) (3D)
6. Ghost of Love (4:34) (Giardina)
7. Tu qui omnia scis (1:18) (Chevalier)
8. Friends (1:56) (Giardina)
9. Christmas Time (2:40) (Giardina, Woff)
10. Loneliness (5:09) (Giardina)
11. Carelessness Song (5:54) (Giardina, Riaux, Pean)
12. Fruits of Meaning - I (4:00) (Giardina)
13. Fruits of Meaning - II (6:00) (3D)

Total Time: 55:31

Line-up / Musicians

- Lionel Giardina / lead vocals, guitars, Layotron
- Frederic Woff / synthesizers drums & percussion
- Vincent Chevalier / Mellotron, organ, back vocals
- Pascal Riaux / electric & acoustic guitars
- Tristan Pean / bass guitar (on tracks 1, 2, 6, & 10)

Guest musicians:
- Mickael Plihon / trombone (on 5 & 10)
- Marion Thomas / Celtic harp (on 4)
- K. Audebert & C. Callac / vocals (2)
- A. Eva & N. Petibon / vocals (4)
- S. Poujade-Ballazar / vocals (5: in Latin)
- R. Hubert / vocals (7)
- C. Huet / vocals (8)
- K. & A. Audeberts, & M. Panaget / vocals (9)

Releases information

Musea FGBG 4445.AR

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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ASIDE BESIDE Tadj Mahall Gates ratings distribution

(28 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ASIDE BESIDE Tadj Mahall Gates reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars If you ever wondered what it would be like to take the legacy of 70s Ange, provide it with some touches of Arachnoid plus some occasional dissonant chamber orchestrations, and finally, recycle it using an avant-garde pop rock filter, Aside Beside sure can demonstrate what an amazing result can be attained from that. But of course, neither you or I have wondered that in the first place, so the right thing to say is that this French band have managed to capture the main spirit of their country's theatrical 70s prog and translate it successfully into a contemporary rock language. Their "Tadj Mahall Gates" album is a concept album revolving around the subjects of mysticism, love and the afterlife in the context of this magnificent palace built in homage to a departed loved one. This band has two keyboardists (one of them also plays drum kit most of the time) and two guitarists (one of them is also the lead singer), but that's something that is precisely shown off. In the musical world of Aside Beside, interplaying happens to be not as important as elaborating textures and harmonies; what's more, at times, the presence of guest instruments such as oboe, horn, Celtic harp or flute is almost more featured than those played by the band members. But of course, the presence of mellotron, analog synthesizers, Hammond organ and piano can be noted as much as dearly appreciated by the prog fan who just won't get enough of those particular elements. There is something like an 'opera rock' feel to this album, although it evidently isn't one - Giardina sure knows how to use his moderately harsh vocal range in order to portray some dose of drama in his singing, but as it happens to the instrumental input, he never goes too far on that. This is basically an album of self-constraints, but nevertheless, the sonic colorfulness is patently easy to perceive. 'Nightmare', the sequence of tracks 5-7 and the somber two-part closure 'Fruits of Meaning' are, IMHO, the most accomplished moments in the album: all three of them manage to convey the band's innermost passion in is own terms. But you can also find a bunch softer pleasant songs, such as the beautiful 'Autumn' and the solemn 'Friends'. "Tadj Mahall Gates" is a very good album, and I hope that this is not the last from Aside Beside, since what they promise is really a lot: meanwhile, all I can personally do in the time being is review this work (which is what I've just been doing) and rate it with the appreciation that I think it deserves - 3.5 stars.
Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars How close can you come to being perfect but ruin it by some technical glitches done on purpose or not (?) is the story behind this French group's rather tasty debut album. Firstly, a quirky name Aside Beside (A-Side B-Side), a reverential nod to the 2 sided vinyl LP, that has appeal to say the least, as well as some sumptuous artwork. Lead lung Lionel Giardina does have a Gabrielesque voice there is no doubt but adds the usual tinge of gallic theatricality, best expressed on the opening title track where all the musicians really shine, certainly highly evocative of the Genesis tradition. Pascal Riaux weaves some spidery guitar patterns, with dual keyboards blasting away in a very Dave Stewart-Canterbury style, a little zeuhl chanting in the mid-section reminding us all that they are French and do have a fine prog tradition. A dash of Mellotron adds to the frenzy of this highly appealing "entrée en matière". Frédéric Wolff is the main Hammond player, as well as the drummer while Vincent Chevalier deals with the Mellotron, Fender Rhodes and piano parts, both prominently displayed on the fabulous "Nightmare" with hints of Gong, a little Wilding-Bonus (funky prog), some wacky jazzy noodling, driving bass guitar contributing to stop and start the theme, amazing muffled English vocals with a series of Frippoid guitar seizures and a wow organ/synth solo that revives the Genesis style to seal the deal. "And I Hate Her" offers up some overt Hillage influences, synth and tron both nicely contributing to the spacey feel, floating delicately with fluffy abandon. "Autumn" is not akin to the Strawbs classic, preferring a frail Celtic harp intro to a sad melancholic lament, a plaintive oboe whimsically "playing my song", Lionel's somber voice in sequence with the mournful cello, Riaux sizing it all up with expert 12 string acoustic patterns and a superb female vocal intervention that duets marvelously with Lionel's. This is precious stuff. "You Who Know" bends into a different direction, trumpets and horns highlighting the fanfare, while maintaining the "Trespass" flavor on the microphone, an idiosyncratic arrangement that searches out a little dissonance. Good idea, because the next out of this world piece has this huge whopping chorus that leaves a severe imprint on the soul, "The Ghost of Love", sung with heartfelt craze, combined with a scorching Fripp-style lead, a definite highpoint of this CD, I could listen to these on repeat. The very brief "Tu Qui Omnia Scis" dives straight in an outright operatic style, with a big male voice singing in Latin, queuing into "Friends", a vocal-piano male-female voice duet that has an almost fragile aroma. "Christmas Time", as the title implies has a Yuletide feel to it, a gentle lilt loaded with choir work, on a melody slightly reminiscent of Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles. "Loneliness" returns to more contemplative material, with loads of vocal work from Lionel, trumpets blaring again in the hatch, a Santana like guitar solo to add some piquant, all propped up with some fine yet obtuse lyrics ("I've never ever seen the organs that should have played for the two of us , the Symphony of Destiny"). "The Carelessness Song" is really not as vocally interesting, perhaps adhering to the title's precept, yet spiced with numerous superior guitar leads, towering flute sorties and sprawling organ work to keep the interest level high. The finale (?) "Fruits of Meaning" (de-Meaning, I say) is where the sour taste mentioned in my opening shows up, a simply pulsating bass-led, guitar-machined groove with masterful vocals, grandiose symphonics and lavish rippling flute simply lights up the pleasure dome for about 4.5 minutes until it suddenly fades into silence, like a reel of film coming unspoiled. The silence lasts 5 darn minutes!!!!! I simply hate when that happens, no dead air with my prog please, whether purposefully or not. And then it suddenly continues with some atmospheric para-psychedelic rambling that sounds more like The Legendary Pink Dots than anything else, very bizarre: "ground control", "communication breakdown", really. Bad timing , monsieur le Producer . Because of this mindless glitch, the 5th star just fell from the sky in brooding shame. That Aside and Beside, this is whopping good music. 4 Gates (no not Bill!)
Review by b_olariu
3 stars French prog band Aside Beside was one of the Genesis wannabes from late '90s manageing to come with a single album in 2002 named Tadj Mahall Gates, issued at Musea records. Clearly influenced by bands as Genesis (Peter Gabriel era), Strawbs or Ange, Asides Besides remaining to pay tribute to the '70 prog masters without having very much intresing passages. Besides very gabrielesque voice of Lionel Giardina, the ekeyboards and guitars lines are very good on first two pieces Tadj Mahal Gates and Nightmare - Vincent Chevalier manage to create some quite solid and inspired Banks like organ parts, very good. The musicianship is ok, some Steve Hackett like guitars nad good druming, but originality lacks. Now, the main problem is that the first part of the album is more then ok, with quite good and intresting arrangements, the second half is almost mediocre with less impressive parts, mellow passages and safe playing. Some listners might have a deja vu when listning to Tadj Mahall gates, but from time to time I think may worth some spins. 3 stars, good but nothing more.

Latest members reviews

2 stars A French one of wonder. A very tasty cover artwork hides a bit of a quandrum. Hence this review. Starting out as a bit of Caravan esque Canterbury scene album, it soon turns towards early Genesis. There is hints of Trespass and Foxtrot here. But the album also turns towards overbloated Phil Co ... (read more)

Report this review (#548834) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Wednesday, October 12, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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