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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 Possibly the most gorgeous, heart-wrenchingly beautiful progressive rock album ever produced, Harmonium's 'Si On Avait Besoin D'Une Cinqueme Saison' is a unique combination of ethereal folk, symphonic prog and acoustic campfire twiddling that belongs with that small group of wonderful recordings that somehow manage to transcend the era of their conception, thus remaining as fresh and vibrant as the day they were first heard. An otherwise little-known band, Harmonium were a French-Candian outfit who, apparently, harbour legendary status in Quebec and the rest of French-speaking Canada. They made three albums in their sadly-truncated career, with their folksy, self-titled debut and the orchestral 'L'Heptade' sandwiching this 1975 release. Their progression from album-to-album paints a picture of a rapidly developing band, with the slightly twee French folk of their debut giving way to a much more expansive set of sounds on 'Si On Avait...', which included, for the first time, keyboards, synths and the occasional electric guitar. However, what makes their music so splendid is the mixture of traditional ideas embellished with Yes-and-Genesis style prog flourishes which gives the music a very specific overall feel. However, whilst Harmonium can be described as a prog band, their penchant for cooking up such beautifully-constructed melodies, thanks in part to lead-singer Michel Normandeau's achingly-beautiful vocals, gives them a distinct sound all of their own, combining rich instrumentation with epic themes and tinges of classic French influences. For those of us out there who still believe that England produced the best prog(and this reviewer was firmly in that camp until very recently), Harmonium and, to a lesser extent, Italy's PFM, will surely change your tune. Whilst bands such as Pink Floyd, Yes, Genesis and King Crimson proved to be hugely influential, it is their European cohorts who have created the more cerebral and passionate music that simply has to be heard to be believed. Harmonium, a band who remain obscure outside of Canada to this very day, have, in this sumptuous release, created one of the most beautful and original albums ever created in an y genre, any time or any place. Strong words I know, l but once you hear the album you will understand everything. In a word: Superb. Who needs Pink Floyd... STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
stefro | 5/5 |


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