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Minimum Vital

Eclectic Prog

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Minimum Vital Atlas album cover
3.46 | 42 ratings | 3 reviews | 10% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Saltarello (3:50)
2. Volubilis (7:02)
3. Louez Son Nom ! (7:36)
4. Voyage I (7:32)
5. Deux Amis (6:54)
6. La Ribote (3:25)
7. Atlas (6:44)
8. Icarus (6:28)

Total Time: 49:31

Line-up / Musicians

- Jean-Baptiste Ferracci / vocals
- Sonia Nedelec / vocals
- Didier Ottaviani/ drums, percussion
- Jean-Luc Payssan / acoustic & electric guitars, mandolin, vocals, percussion
- Thierry Payssan / organ & synthesizers, vocal, percussions
- Eric Rebeyrol / bass

Releases information

CD Musea FGBG 4533.AR (2004) France

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to grendelbox for the last updates
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MINIMUM VITAL Atlas ratings distribution

(42 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

MINIMUM VITAL Atlas reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is a conundrum. That the musicians are super talented is without dispute, in particular the Payssan brothers (Thierry on Keys and Jean-Luc on guitars), the artwork is singularly brilliant, their past discography contains some truly progressive experiments (the overtly medieval "Sarabandes" and the language expansion of "Esprit d'Amor") yet there is something missing with "Atlas". Perhaps the continuation of the onomatopoeic vocal formula is to blame. Where Magma's usage of the artificial yet totally "alive" Kobaian language never really became boring , Minimum Vital's version of "Tu,To,Tu,To, De" is essentially a distraction, especially when the camembert start flowing into the grooves , as with the following" Tip dop, Tip dop, S'ti bi di bi dop". It can be interesting as a one shot project but there seems to be a mood missing here. Kind of strange, as the Payssan brothers has released the rather tasty "Vital Duo" with high critical praise. In a nutshell, the music is too upbeat to be credible when the lyrics/singing remain firmly in the land of the infantile ("Louez Son Nom"), whether you spice it up with some forceful arrangements or not. Even with the respectable "Voyage I", the track is ruined with a grating English vocal laced with a heavy Gallic accent that just makes the meaningless vocalizing even more out of place. On "Deux Amis" the male/female vocalists decide to sing in their native French and lo and behold, this turns out to be a positive moment, heavily influenced by the pro-Celtic musings of a Malicorne or Alan Stivell. But half way through, they revert to the kindergarten phrasings! The purely instrumental "La Ribote" only lasts for a mere 3 and one half minutes with some splendid synth and guitar playing, very reminiscent of the "Sarabandes" era, the only highlight here, with the upcoming title track, I am afraid. The track "Atlas" has some pace with some motivated synthesized flute ramblings, ripping guitars and bubbly synth solos and thankfully, only a very scant amount of mouthings. The finale "Icarus" is the same story, full of potential. This is their first dud, too bad. Again, I like the music but the concept should be vitally kept to a minimum, in fact they should move into a darker mode with better vocalists and the magic will return, in the meantime, this is not a winner. Barely 3 craters.
Review by kev rowland
5 stars When I opened the envelope and saw what was inside a huge smile crept across my face. It has been years since I last heard a Minimum Vital album, and it took no time at all for the cogs to click into place and remember what an awesome album 'La Source' was. It made a huge impression on me at the time, but that was a long time ago (Feedback #19!), what would Minimum Vital of today sound like? I deliberately didn't put it anywhere near a CD player until I had the time to devote myself to it - I didn't want to play just part of it, but to be able to concentrate. Minimum Vital used to sing totally in French, and this CD had just one song that was partly in English so it was all about getting a feel about what was going on.

Two lead singers (one male, one female), drums, guitar, mandolin, keyboards, bass this is a band that is often on the lighter side of prog rock, but there is a joy within the music. During "Louez Son Nom" there is a section of vocal nonsense, where the singers are accompanied only by a glockenspiel, which gives way to the guitar solo. This is music to get lost in, with elements of bands as diverse as Tull or Gentle Giant, yet there is a sheer beauty and pleasure within it that is rarely heard. There is only one thing that can be done when this album has finished, put it on again! I found myself playing this so much that I had to ban it from myself so that I could get on with listening to other albums. A delight from start to finish, this shows that you don't need to understand the lyrics to enjoy a great album. Available through GFT.

Originally appeared in Feedback #79, June 2004

Latest members reviews

2 stars Actually nothing to say, really, I couldn't find anything, what lets me discuss this tiresome album. Only the second half of the track - Atlas feels to be a Progressive Rock fruit. After the great "Esprit D'Amor" and "Au Cercle de Pierre" this album looks like a little tuft of grass near the ... (read more)

Report this review (#30497) | Posted by Vasil Jalabadze | Wednesday, December 1, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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