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Aragon - Mouse CD (album) cover





3.06 | 67 ratings

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3 stars Aragon had been working on a monster concept/autobiographical album since the start of the 90's, which was actually a slow work in progress, which ''Rocking horse...'' surpassed through the sands of time.Actually the 92' mini-album ''The meeting'' was the fifth act of this long work, which the band managed to finish by mid-90's.With respect to the fans, who had already purchased the fifth act a few years back, the album ''The mouse'' was released in 1995 without the pieces of ''The meeting''.Three years later the full work was re-released by LaBraD'or Records in a double-CD edition.

This is a collection of thirty tracks, flowing in a tight cohesion and passing through tons of different moods, all of them connected to the already familiar style of Aragon.No epics or even mid-length pieces, ''The mouse'' is a story unfolding via very short tunes in the vein of PENDRAGON and CLEPSYDRA, fronted by the trademark fast paces of the band, the use of many dreamy instrumentals and the aggressive vocals of Les Dougan.Of course the somewhat synthetic keyboard sound and the overall plastic production, which comes along with all Aragon releases, is not among the advantages of the album, it seems at moments that the sound quality has been stuck sometime in the mid-80's.Otherwise this is another decent effort by the group, not always sealing its extended length, but containing good enough material with theatrical singing, rockin' grooves and even symphonic backdrops in a MARILLION/mid-70's GENESIS vein.Maybe they should have used a larger number of longer pieces, because some of these arrangements are fascinating, for example ''Cold in a warm place'' gives plenty of room for variations between CAMEL, GENESIS and PINK FLOYD overtones and a very poetic vocal performance by Dougan, ''The sheer joy of creation'' reminds of the greatest days of old ABEL GANZ with its playful guitar, sweet keyboards and emphatic vocals, ''Brave new world''features a a slow development from background echoes to more bombastic music with sentimental solos, while ''The cross'' is a fantastic, old-styled MARILLION-like tune with another Dougan monumental vocal performance and the use of semi-symphonic synths next to discreet New Wave samplers.The good thing about ''The mouse'' is that the are no weak pieces or dead holes in the process, everything seems to be in the right place next to the mass of memorable tunes and pompous instrumental sections.Lack of trully fascinating moments, but the band passed a really hard test on producing a long and consistent album.

For fans of MARILLION, PALLAS, PENDRAGON, ABEL GANZ and IQ, this is strong Neo Prog with efficient melodies and a decent flow among all pieces.Recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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