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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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4 stars It's a pity that I only knew this seventies prog band in recent years. Thanks to internet and progarchives that have made me aware about this gem of seventies. The first time I listened to this album couple of months ago I felt like I had a total peace of mind right from the start to the end of the album. It's really an excellent and peaceful experience combined with amazement on why I had only known it recently! The music of Harmonium relies itself on the folk-style combined with mellotron, piccolo and flute. Even though at that time all first row prog bands like Genesis, ELP, Yes, Pink Floyd, Gentle Giant, King Crimson already matured with their albums, this album by Harmonium offered different spectrum of music style.

"Vert" (5:34) injects beautiful sounds of double flutes in wonderful notes into my mind and made me experiencing something in my mind and body?so peaceful! The acoustic guitar starts to enter the music followed nicely with vocal line with catchy melody. The vocal is actually comprising duo vocals like the sounds of a choir. The key rhythm section of the song is acoustic guitar filled up with keyboards plus bass guitar as beat keeper. No drums work here. The interlude part with dynamic basslines and clarinet / sax solo is wonderful. At the end of the interlude, the duo vocal enters in jazzy style without lyrics 'di di di du du dada?' combined with great acoustic guitar fills and eerie flute work. Beautiful!

'Dixie' (3:26) opens up with an acoustic guitar that reminds me to The Beatles 'Black Bird'. As the title implies, the song flows in dynamic tempo using piano and guitar as energizer of the rhythm section. The clarinet solo in the interlude combined with acoustic guitar solo are really excellent. The combined sounds of acoustic guitar and piano form a solid Dixie style. The song also features stunning piano solo. Wow!

'Depuis L'Automne' (10:25) starts ambient with synthesizer sound effects followed with accentuated vocal work accompanied by acoustic guitar. The tempo moves up gradually through the vocal line followed beautifully with catchy piano work combined later with mellotron sound. The intro part creates great atmosphere that sets the overall tone of the song. The interlude part with mellotron as background while the acoustic guitar solo works on top of it is really nice, especially the clarinet provides the fills at background. It sounds like folk music meets symphonic prog. The song ends up with happy ending mood looking at the way the vocals sing.

'En Pleine Face' (4:51) starts off with an ambient mood with soft acoustic guitar rhythm section that accompanies vocal. At the end of the first verse there is a sound of accordion that follows. The key of this song is the choirs and long sustain accordion work that serves at main rhythm section.

A music for Self-Reflection ?

The epic 'Histoires Sans Paroles' (17:12) is well positioned as a concluding track for the album. At first listen this song sounds like moving very slowly. But when you listen to it midnight while your light turns off you will find the beauty and subtleties of the music excellently. The opening flute work that moves slowly, backed with acoustic guitar fills and long sustain mellotron work create great harmony. At approx 2:55 the style changes into mellotron sounds and later combined beautifully with soft piano touch and acoustic guitar. It's really a nice piece of the music. The movement of each piece of the music from one to another is a nice experience listening to this album. Flute and piccolo also provide their work. If you love mellotron-drenched music for meditation, maybe?, this is perfect for you. I think this kind of music is suitable for accompanying you in self reflection, especially on the part at minute 11:00 where the sound of the beach is combined with flute, piano, and clarinet. It's a great sound, really.

Overall, actually I am not inclined to give high rating for an album that does not sound quite complex like Genesis or Yes. But, having a second thought, the album creates wonderful nuances and beautiful melodies that produce great music, I think this is an excellent addition to any progressive music collection. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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