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Harmonium - Si on avait besoin d'une cinquième saison CD (album) cover




Prog Folk

4.35 | 1383 ratings

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Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Harmonium: Si On Avait Besoin D'une Cinquieme Saison [1975]

Rating: 9/10

Si On Avait Besoin D'une Cinquieme Saison is the second album from Quebec-based progressive-rock group Harmonium. A quick glance through other reviews will reveal abundant use of the word "beautiful." The unfamiliar may be tempted to scoff at such a description; after all, "beautiful" is a rather loaded word. However, if the term aptly applies to any album, it is this one. This sophomore release shows the band combining the folk sounds of their debut with complex symphonic structures and lush pastoral atmospheres. The result is one of the most gorgeous albums ever recorded. Si On Avait Besoin D'une Cinquieme Saison sounds just like what the album cover would suggest: an ethereal voyage through a sun-soaked meadow.

These five pieces form a conceptual sequel to Vivaldi's The Four Seasons. The first four tracks represent the four normal seasons, and the fifth and final piece symbolizes an imaginary fifth season. This concept fits the music perfectly, from the rural instrumentation - acoustic guitars and flutes galore with no percussion to be found - to the quiet vocal work of Serge Fiori. "Vert" opens the album with gorgeous flutes and subtle guitar. Fiori's vocals are in prime form here, particularly during the scat sections near the end. "Dixie" is a ragtime-infused folk-rock song with jaunty instrumentation. This track tends to divide fans, but I find it to be irresistibly charming. The ten-minute "Depuis L'Automne" is an absolute masterpiece. The vocals are unforgettable, and the Mellotron-laden middle section is one of the most beautiful things to ever grace my ears. The somber "En Pleine Face" features Fiori's best vocal performance on the album, which is definitely saying something. "Histoires Sans Paroles" is a 17-minute symphonic piece. This breathtaking track needs to be experienced; I cannot quantify it through words.

Harmonium created something truly special with Si On Avait Besoin D'une Cinquieme Saison. It's difficult not to get chills during certain points of this pastoral masterwork. Perhaps the most impressive element of this album is Harmonium's ability to create so much out of so little. The instrumentation is rather sparse, but the band manages to craft enormous music out of it. The performances are tangibly soulful and the composition is a nothing short of genius. Many consider this to be the greatest album ever to come out of Quebec, and I must agree - every second of this masterpiece exudes pure beauty.

Anthony H. | 5/5 |


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