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Magma - Félicité Thösz CD (album) cover





4.08 | 430 ratings

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5 stars Félicité Thösz, Magma's first album since their reunion to be comprised entirely of new material (dating back to 2001-2002 in composition date), is the warmest, most inviting recording they have ever made. Thankfully, this doesn't mean that the band have sold out (the album is still mostly in their constructed language Kobaďan, and the band's signature vocal choirs and odd time signatures are all over the recording), nor does it mean that there aren't the expected moments of darkness in the recording, but these moments are mostly fleeting, and they're almost always followed up by moments in the music that feel almost triumphant. This album is effectively Magma's celebration of life itself, and the joy of the music is nothing less than infectious. Who knew they had it in them?

With an album comprised mostly of a continuous suite (the Philip Glass-like coda "Les Hommes Sont Venus" is a separate composition), it's difficult to pick out highlights, but "Ẁaahrz", a piano workout worthy of Rick Wakeman, certainly stands out, as does the triumphant "Tsaď!". There isn't a single moment here that is less than compelling, though.

In short, this is one of the finest recordings Magma have made to date, and it manages to be as fresh and inventive after thirty listens as it is on the first. The only possible complaint to be drawn here is the short length (barely over thirty-two minutes), but the album certainly obeys one of the most famous dicta of show business: Leave them wanting more. If you're new to Magma or zeuhl, this may be the single best place to start, and if you're already a fan and haven't heard this yet, what are you waiting for? I can't recommend this singular recording highly enough.

Note that the ten-movement title track is performed on the band's live DVD Mythes et Legendes Epok V, and it's every bit as compelling there (although the acoustic piano is replaced with an electric on the DVD). "Ẁaahrz" even gets extended with a few minutes of improvisation.

CassandraLeo | 5/5 |


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