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Mirage A Secret Place  album cover
2.90 | 20 ratings | 4 reviews | 15% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Nothing On TV Tonight (5:15)
2. Coming Out Of Nowhere (4:30)
3. Untold Stories (6:47)
4. For Andy (5:10)
5. The UFO Trip (6:30)
6. Time Machine (7:00)
7. Not Fair Enough (6:35)
8. Alien Attack - Supernova (10:30)

Total Time: 63:08

Line-up / Musicians

- Stephan Forner / guitars, vocals
- Philippe Duplessy / keyboards, vocals
- Cyrille Forner / basses, vocals
- Joël Mondon / drums
- Agnès Forner / flute, vocals

Releases information

CD Musea Records #FGBG 4361.AR-Fra (2001)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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MIRAGE A Secret Place ratings distribution

(20 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(25%)
Good, but non-essential (50%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MIRAGE A Secret Place reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Alucard
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Mirage is mainly a family buiseness (2 Brothers and a sister) devoted to playing Music in the style of Camel.The production is good and the overall sound comes close to the Camel records of the 70's, mainly due to the guitar work and the flute playing sister. On the instrumental tracks and parts they do sound like the original. So much for the good news. Unfortunately the sister's lead vocals don't fit into the music.Her french accent is to pronounced and she's got more a straightforward rock voice where a melodic softer voice would have been more appropritad given the overall harmonic and quiet music.Still it's realy a pleasant record with lots of good arrangements and playing
Review by kenethlevine
2 stars Mirage's debut amounts to little more than a CAMEL tribute album. At this point they are not so much playing "In the spirit of" CAMEL as to the letter of CAMEL. They are content to intermingle blatant riff-offs from classics like "Lunar Sea", "A Song within a Song", "Harbour of Tears" and "Echoes" to the extent that the actual tracks contain very little development of their own. They create a soulless CAMEL soundscape that conjures precious little of the original emotion while failing to establish any credibility in their own right. These guys can play, but virtuosity in itself is not the name of the game.

"For Andy" delves into fusion in a way that Mr Latimer only did sporadically, and hints at the direction taken on subsequent releases, but it's still pretty tentative. The female vocals do not suit the style and mar tracks like "Nothing on TV tonight" and "The UFO trip". The finale "Alien Attack-Supernova" shows more than experimentation and a willingness to spread out. It even has CRIMSON ish heavy guitars. But ultimately it lacks both the continuity of a compelling suite and the import of an epic. This may have something to do with being essentially silent for the latter half of its 20+ minutes.

In all, at this point the band sits in a place best kept secret. That changes dramatically a few years later.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars 3.5 stars to be exact...

A very good band from France,but with a very UK-styled prog rock sound, MIRAGE were found in 1997 by Phillipe Duplessy on keyboards, Joel Mondon on drums,Cyrille Forner on basses and his brother Stephan on guitars, while Stephan's wife Agnes contributed on vocals/flutes at the live performances and soon she became a stable member of the band.During all those concerts MIRAGE worked on their own material and out of 16 tracks,they chose half of them to be included on their debut.This came out in 2001 on Musea Records under the title ''A secret place''.

With such a band name and tracks with a title like ''For Andy'',I expect to listen to nothing less than CAMEL-influenced progessive rock with ANDY LATIMER-like emotional guitars...and,sure, that is exactly what is going here.Excellent melodic stuff, which lacks a bit in diversity, but it is based on strong musicianship, melodic arrangements and emotional instrumental parts,exactly like CAMEL.Guitars and flutes play first roles here and create soundscapes met both in early- and later era-CAMEL: from Canterbury Jazz-Prog to flute-driven symph-like orchestrations and highly emotional instrumental music, characterized by nice guitar solos.The keyboards here are placed mostly in the background,so the music becomes deeper and more atmospheric and,as for the bass work,this goes mostly from slow bass lines onto a jazzier approach.Imagine all this well-crafted musicianship supported by the crystalline voice of Agnes Forner,who sings only in English.This is first quality dreamy and atmospheric progressive rock in the vein of CAMEL or even ALAN PARSON'S PROJECT, DOGMA and CHANCE.Strongly recommended!

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Let me start this review stating that I just LOVE this record! Personally, I´d give it a four star rating or more. However, I should also point out that there are some issues here that prevented me to do so. First of all, this french quintet is not original at all. From their name (taking from Camel´s Mirage album) and with a song called For Andy, they made no secret to no one of who their idols are. No problem with that, but songwriting-wise, they go beyond just being influenced by Camel to actually copy part of their songs: Untold Story, just to cite one, is almost a total rip off of Lunar Sea. And yet, I must say they do it very well.

Another strong influence is Fish era-Marillion (as the opener Nothing On TV Tonight shows quite clearly). But most of the time Mirage soudns like a slightly jazzy version of early Camel. Flutist and singer Agnés Forner has an unsual voice that takes some time to get used to, but also helps them to be a little more than just a copy of Andrew Latimer´s famous band. And their musicanship is excellent too, with brilliant guitar solos, excellent keys, great bass (a highlight on all the songs) and very good drumming. There are no fillers and songs like Time machine are fine samples of their skill and passion. The last track , Alien Attack - Supernova, is on the more experimental side and is a clue of the sound they would eventually develop outside the Camel scope.

Conclusion: for an early Camel freak like me, A Secret Place is pure prog heaven. Originality aside, Mirage is a very good band (Camel was not an exactly easy band to emulate, if you know what I mean...). And it is obvious that this group had all they need to go much further on their own (which they would do from their second release onwards). So this album is recomended for the ones that have a similar taste.

Final rating: 3,5 stars.

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