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Maneige - Ni Vent... Ni Nouvelle CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.06 | 126 ratings

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3 stars This wholly instrumental album from another of the legends of Queboicois prog has a few pleasing tunes, but frequently projects a tepid, sterile feel that doesn't give it enough of an identity, certainly when compared to some of the passionate playing on Les Porches. Mind you, when I first heard the opener Le Goi Marvin I was excited ... nice flute, violin passages, fancy vibraphone work, tight playing, diversity, energy, the lot. Another outstanding piece is La Fin De L'Histoire, which starts off as flute-led folk-rock that will tickle the fancy of the Tullers out there, before a great guitar/sax exchange of solos and a funky percussion segment round the piece off.

However, despite some occasionally outstanding playing (I really like the drummer's control and chops) I tend to lose interest round about the time the fourth piece Les Epinettes kicks off. It's almost as if the middle of the road sound cancels out the inventives of the arrangements. There's also a cheesy Latin fusion thing going that rears its head far too often for my liking (Au Clair De La Prune has some horrible "fusion-lite" sections that I really hate, parts of Mambo Chant are downright annoying, while the less said about the silly concluding track Time Square the better!).

Also striking out in a different direction, Douce Am Re has a big guitar solo from Vincent Langlois that could inspired Mark Knofpler's whole career! I like the bubbly world feel of Le Grox Roux, which has some great bass work from Lapierre (who seems to have doubled up as the rhythm section ... although to be fair three other people are credited with percussion!) but really most of the second half of this record is wasted on me.

If this were the only Maneige album I'd ever heard, I would confidently deem the group to be an overrated entity, but because I know Les Porches has some superb playing that makes this record all the more frustrating. This jazz-rock is extremely competent but there are dozens of bands plouging the same field that I find to be more dynamic ... 55% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 3/5 |


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