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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 Review Nº 221

Harmonium was one of the best Canadian prog bands in the Province of Quebec. Harmonium's career was short, five years. It ended when the members of the band felt they had said all they had to say in the best possible way. Consequently, the three studio albums plus one live album that they left to posterity can all be considered important artistic statements. The band's impact on Quebec rock and culture in general has been tremendous, even in these days.

'Si On Avait Besoin D'Une Cinquieme Saison', also known as 'Les Cinq Saisons', is the second studio album from Harmonium and was released in 1975. This album marks a change in the direction of their musical style. This new second studio album is less focused on folk, like their eponymous debut studio album 'Harmonium', to a more symphonic progressive rock style. It's a conceptual album around a seasonal concept. The first four songs are about the four traditional four seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter but it has also a fifth song that represents an imaginary fifth season. As was usual, in those times on the Canadian bands from Quebec, the lyrics are all in French.

The line up of the album is Serge Fiori (lead vocals, guitar, flute, zither harp and bass drum), Michel Normandeau (vocals, guitar and accordion), Pierre Daigneault (flute, piccolo, soprano saxophone and clarinet), Louis Valois (vocals, bass guitar and electric piano), Serge Locat (piano, mellotron and synthesizer) and Judy Richard (vocalisations).

'Si On Avait Besoin D'Une Cinquieme Saison', has five tracks. The first track 'Vert' written by Serge Fiori and Michel Normandeau is the song that corresponds to the first season of the year, spring. It's a song that opens the album magnificently and begins with a wonderful flute melody that provides the tunes for this beautiful, calm and melodic song. It has beautiful vocal harmonies and where the musical instrumentation is very accessible but with some complexity, which makes the song emotional, deepest and intense. The second track 'Dixie' written by Serge Fiori is the song that corresponds to the second season of the year, summer. This is the shortest song on the album and is probably the most simple and melodic of all. It's a very rhythmic song, very stirring and it has also fantastic solos, especially clarinet and piano. This is a song that encourages us to sing, dance and clap our hands. It's another incredible song on the album. The third track 'Depuis L'Automne' written by Serge Fiori and Michel Normandeau is the song that corresponds to the third season of the year, autumn. It's the second lengthiest song on the album and is also my second favourite song too. This is a song that starts slowly and that grows gradually and finally, in the end, it reaches a very intense climax. Once more the vocal harmonies are so perfect that definitely contribute to the final result of an absolutely perfect song. It's important to note the great use of the mellotron on this song, which are wonderful for tron maniacs like me. The fourth song 'En Plein Face' written by Serge Fiori is the song that corresponds to the fourth season of the year, winter. It's the second shortest song of the album and corresponds perfectly with the spirit of this season of the year. It's a melancholic and sad song but it's also, at the same time so beautiful, which brings us some mixed feelings, which brings us tears to our eyes. The use of the accordion on the end of the song reminds me the typical sound of French and Argentinian music. The fifth and last track 'Histoires Sans Paroles' written by Serge Fiori is the song that corresponds to the fifth season of the year, if we needed a fifth season. It's divided into five parts, 'L'Isolement', 'L'Appel', 'La Rencontre', 'L'Union' and 'Le Grand Bal'. It's the lengthiest song on the album, the great magnus opus, the best song and it's my favourite song too. This is absolutely so fantastic and perfect that is very difficult to me write anything about it. It's a song absolutely magic where all the performances of the all instruments like mellotron, flute, guitars and vocal harmonies are completely perfect. Its music is so beautifully and celestial that, if there is a God, He is here on this song. This is the perfect song to end this incredible, beautiful and amazing album.

Conclusion: 'Si On Avait Besoin D'Une Cinquieme Saison' is the kind of progressive album, obscure and missed by most of the people and only known by experts like us. It's one of those pearls like 'Hybris' and 'Epilog' of Anglagard, 'Depois Do Fim' of Bacamarte, 'Unfolded Like Staircase' of Discipline and 'Onde, Quando, Como, Porqu', Cantamos Pessoas Vivas' of Quarteto 1111, only to mention a few of them, that deserve to be discovered. 'Si On Avait Besoin D'Une Cinquieme Saison' is without any doubt a great album, an absolute masterpiece and it's also, in my opinion, one of the best albums released in the 70's. It's almost an acoustic album, musically very beautiful, that sounds different and it's, in a certain way, a very special album in the progressive music scene of that time. If you like the sound of the acoustic albums mixed with some electric parts, especially mellotron, and you are searching for something that sounds beautiful and different, you shouldn't miss it for any reason. If the perfection and the beauty exist, they're here, surelly.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 5/5 |


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