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Clearlight - Clearlight Symphony CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.91 | 202 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
5 stars Incredible first (?) album for Clearlight or should I say Cyrille Verdeaux's project. In a way, if you thought that the Virgin label had scored with Michael Oldfield Tubular Bell, you might be also tempted into looking on that same label at this little marvel of electronic music! There are lots of similarities between those two oeuvres, being mostly electronic but also full of great real instruments much the same way TB had it also. But I would like to assure you that Clearlight's Symphony is a much better and a much fuller record (it was a double vinyl for a start) than TB. I always thought that TB was a rather empty and meatless/beefless record, but it was the novelty of it at the time that made its great success. With Verdeaux's superb record, we are two years later than the groundbreaking TB, but this oeuvre is so much more mature that TB pales in comparison.

Enough comparing the two and let's concentrate on this record. Actually the record's full name is Symphony II (which implies there was a previous oeuvre, but this proghead never heard that work) and it lasts some 66 minutes, and 6 movements ranging almost 9 minutes until the whopping 20.5 minutes of the fifth. As one might guess, the work is very melodic, romantic and delightful, and should please most everyone - especially recommended to get comfy with the partner and engage in special gymnastics (get the Cd release to avoid flipping the discs and leaving the partner cool down ;-). To describe you how the music sounds, you might want to think of a cross between Oldfield's TB and Tangerine Dream (from ricochet to Force Majeure era). Not completely without influences, Verdeaux pays a tribute to the Never-ending-chord and the Never-ending-note of the Beatles A Day in The Life in one its movement. But the major interest is the superb fifth movement where three musicians from Gong appear, with Hillage, Malherbe and Blake bringing to the total oeuvre to a spine-chilling climax.

Definitely one of the best progressive works to have come out of France, this little baby is still sadly a much too unknown, under-appreciated and overlooked gem. I cannot recommend this record anymore than here and by giving it a fifth star. When you know how rarely I hand out this rating, this should just about convince you and send you running to the record shop. Don't forget your wallet, though ;-)

Sean Trane | 5/5 |


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