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Rousseau - Flower in Asphalt CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.43 | 53 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
3 stars If the commercial market for symphonic progressive rock had all but vanished by 1980, and most of the British dinosaurs had tried to modernize, at least on the continent, and in Germany in particular, the genre was still humming along. Even long running bands like ELOY continued to carry the torch, but younger groups like ANYONE'S DAUGHTER and ROUSSEAU arose around the turn of the decade and paid tribute to their influences, among them GENESIS, KING CRIMSON, and in the case of ROUSSEAU in particular, CAMEL. This homage is especially apparent in the lead guitars, flutes and sprightly melodies, making for a generally easy listening debut album.

My general complaint is that it's all a bit too mellow and inoffensive, without enough genuine variety to compensate for the generally short tracks and the total absence of vocals. Also, the keyboards are in general less interesting than the aforementioned instruments - witness the first 2:30 of the album closer for proof. While most everything here is pleasant and enjoyable, little of it is excellent. An exception is "Entree", buoyed by woodwinds and a moving change of pace around the midpoint, followed by some melodic lead guitar licks. It offers just the right mix.

While Rousseau's first album won't have you beating a retreat for the exits, it might not be the first one you reach for when you want innovation or excitement. The very essence of a three star effort.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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