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Maneige - Libre Service - Self Service CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.04 | 92 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Libre Service" enhances the prominent fusion orientation that Maneige had already assumed for their previous album. Almost nothing remains from the spectacular academic display that played such an important role in their first two albums. Generally speaking, this album comprises a more pronounced uplifting spirit, and the reasons for that are the incorporation of exotic Latin-jazz colours and a major presence of funky undertones in the repertoire, which ultimately bring an augmented colorfulness to the band's style and compositions. The addition of some Gentle Giant based stuff (mostly in the counterpoints and some tuned percussion passages) helps to build that colorful spirit. The first four tracks set the most playful mood in the album, and they certainly serve as accurate examples of the factors I've just mentioned. Those effective bass lines that run all through 'Trozix' and the tropical-like cadence that forms the main body of 'L'envol des singes latins' are simply irresistible: the listener feels compelled to let himself be contaminated by this good vibe. The brief 'Bagdad' offers some weird dissonances and syncopated tempos in a very pleasant way, as if the potential tension would have been subtly replaced by a strange kind of "harmony": these guys sure know how make the best of a not too complex 1'50'' musical idea. Genius doesn't always come wrapped in gigantic boxes. This notion is corroborated by the next two following pieces - 'Noémi' is a beautiful brief piano solo ornamented by some guitar and some flute, while 'Célébration' states a delicate romantic ambience, with immaculate grace and infinite class. The last three pieces kind of contain a combination of the reflective spirit of tracks 6-8 and the prominent uplifting mood of the precedent ones - all of them state a certain emphasis in the solemn side of things during their first section, before spreading on the fusion stuff until the very end. While the first four tracks incarnate the uplifting side of "Libre Service", the last three encapsulate the whole spirit of it. Though I don't find it as brilliant as "Ni Vent. ni Nouvelle", it still deserves to be regarded as an excellent musical work, full of great, attractive musical ideas that have an irresistible appeal. 4 - 4 1/2 stars.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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