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French TV - After A Lengthy Silence CD (album) cover


French TV



3.45 | 34 ratings

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3 stars Steven Roberts quit after the debut of French TV, focusing on his family, his newly established ZNR Records label and his daytime job.As Mike Sarry found hard to explore possibilities of a proper replacement with people not quite interested in playing the band's highly eclectic music, he was briefly involved in other projects, like The Friendly Enzymes, a strongly improvised group in the vein of The Muffins, and Power Bungle, a 7-piece big band.In The Friendly Enzymes he met sax/clarinet player Clancy Dixon and with Tom Browning on guitar he managed to record French TV's second album in two different studios, released in 1987 on his own Y-Records.The album features some guests on bass clarinet, flute and keyboards.

With this sophomore effort French TV would make an obvious turn towards more jazzy realms, they still held some of the sophisticated fundamentals of the debut, but overall these instrumental executions sound more loose.Fortunately the occasional keyboard and piano splashes would add some lighter innovations in an otherwise pretty complex approach.Guitars are only sporadic and the emphasis here is on a very jazzy and technical rhythm section, the big time Fusion-esque keyboards and the dominant use of saxes and clarinet.And speaking of sax and clarinet, their quirky solos would push the band a step closer to the R.I.O. principles.They sound now as a cross between HAPPY THE MAN, HOWEVER and MIRIODOR, delivering impressive moments with powerful jazzy components, Fusion exercises, orchestral moves and a certain note to Classic Progressive Rock.Production and synths sound very period-like with a rather flat delivery, the music though belongs definitely among the most intricate of the second half of the 80's.Long tracks with atmospheric varieties, blistering guitar, keyboard and wind instruments and smoother passages with an R.I.O. touch.Take notice of the CD reissues, which contain an impressive cover on Nektar's classic epic ''A tab in the ocean''.

I wouldn't put this one up there with French TV's great debut.But it's nonetheless a very good attempt on jazzy Prog Rock with R.I.O. branches, which still showcases a mood for atmospheric textures.Recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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