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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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Symphonic Team
4 stars Harmonium's pinnacle of infamy is found here on 'Si On Avait Besoin D'Une Cinqui'me Saison' which is a real work of art with some masterful moments mixed with quirky humour.

The beauty is located in such symphonic treasures as 'Depuis L'Automne' with very strong mellotron tones and acoustic mixed with flute and pulsing bass. The innovation of the music is stunning on such pieces, though the opening track is a bit too weird in places, sounding silly with Focus like excursions in to vocal whimsy. It never resonated with me personally, almost sounding like the band are high, but it has its place in the context of the era it was created.

The band are legendary in Quebec and France but hail from Canada so they are a diverse group. The musicianship is exemplary; Pierre Daigneault on flute, piccolo, Soprano saxophone, clarinet; Serge Fiori on guitar, flute, zither harp, bass drum; Serge Locat on piano, mellotron, synthesizer; Michel Normandeau on guitar, accordion; Louis Valois on bass guitar, electric piano; and all add vocals along with Judy Richard who features on 'Histoires Sans Paroles'.

There is still no replacing the magic of the musical breaks when the vocals are kept aside. I have no idea what the French lyrics are saying but the music is able to transport it's beauty throughout. The band have a dominant focus on instrumentals or lengthy musical breaks. 'En Pleine Face' begins side two with admirable quality. The instrumental is laced with flute, beautiful acoustic and piano. The strings sound ambient along with backward swells and spacey violin mellotron sounds. Perhaps this is one of the group's finest compositions.

'Histoires Sans Paroles' is a huge 17 minute epic that has sprawling instrumental breaks. The mellotron has a strong presence and it is refreshing to hear the female vocals of Judy with her 'la da da's' accompanied by gorgeous flute. The track is mostly instrumental as is the majority of side two with intonations now and then to add to the beauty. The symphonic splendour of multi layered musicianship is stunning; piano, acoustic, mellotron, and effects. The effects of seagulls, crashing waves and babbling brooks has become a clich' in prog but Harmonium were one of the first. Many bands in the modern prog scene use the seagulls and waves effect as it definitely transports one to another place of isolation and beauty. The flute is a joyful bright augmentation to the theme of the changing seasons. This is an album to relax to and let your emotions be consumed by the art of Harmonium.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |


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