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Harmonium - Si on avait besoin d'une cinquième saison CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.35 | 1349 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Si On Avait Besoin D'une 5ième Saison is where Harmonium really broke through. It combines symphonic prog with folk in a wonderfully relaxing musical journey through the seasons. The thing that really stands out is the lack of drums except for an occasional Peter Gabriel-like pounding of a bass drum. The album is conceptual regarding the seasons and the addition of a fifth season, and each song matches the mood of the time of year it reflects. The lyrics are in French, and I know just enough français to sound like an idiot, so I'm afraid I don;t know much about the lyrical content of the songs. However, music always speaks louder than words.

Vert is the song for Spring, and starts almost melancholic as we bid farewell to the previous year before the song picks up with scatting vocals and a lightweight jazz feel. Dixie is a ragtime number that jovially ushers in summer. The piano and clarinet have lovely solos at the end Depuis L'Automne has some stunning vocal harmonies that bring to mind Gentle Giant. It is more somber than the first two tracks, considering autumn is the season where everything dies. However, it is never really sad. The guitar is incredible in this song as is the mellotron. The entire song captures the fragile nature of fall, and the music sounds as if it is carried by the same wind that strips the trees of their dead leaves. En Plein Face keeps with the somber ethereal sound of the last song, only it's even darker. Makes sense, considering the days are shorter, and much of winter is barren. Then comes the hands-down highlight of the album, Histoires Sans Paroles. The flute in this song can challenge Ian Anderson's claim to the folk flute throne. The vocals are stunningly beautiful, and Serge Fiori's lead vocals are some of the most gut-wrenchingly lovely performances I've heard.

To me, this album is like folk opera. I can't understand the words, but the music and the vocals are so overwhelming I can't help but be touched. I probably give out to many five star ratings, but this is one of those albums that is a masterpiece beyond reproach. This Quebeçois group made an obscure gem that has managed to finally get the recognition it deserves through this site. Find this album, and get it.

Grade: A

1800iareyay | 5/5 |


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