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Mona Lisa - Grimaces CD (album) cover


Mona Lisa


Symphonic Prog

3.48 | 41 ratings

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3 stars Looking at the cover of ''L'escapade'' it seems like Gilles Solves had already quit from Mona Lisa, despite being listed as the guitarist of the group, and the band moved on with the remaining a five-piece line-up.Mona Lisa were though unhappy with the result of their debut, despite some majestic moments, and they changed studio, so the second album ''Grimaces'' was recorded at Azurville Studios with the help of Jean-Pierre Massiera and Bernard Belan on sound engineering.It was released in 1975, again on Arcane label.

The results of this change are clearly taped on the better production of ''Grimaces'', which sounds far from the muddy production of ''L'escapade'' (which however has its own charm), having an overall more powerful recording quality.Musically the style remains deeply rooted in the ANGE/GENESIS school of Theatrical Progressive Rock with strong symphonic themes, extreme lyrical performances by Dominique Le Guennec and a bit of folky attitude in the flute parts.The arrangements are rich with plenty of grandieur and multi-instrumental textures with a strong balance between electric guitars and keyboards.The atmosphere is still very dramatic, either created by Le Guennec's impressive yet excessive singing parts or the haunting organ themes and fiery electric guitars.As with ANGE's early albums, ''Grimaces'' even contains light psychedelic influences here and there, but the vast majority of the album is characterized by symphonic orchestrations and numerous instrumental soundscapes next to the more gentle flute-based passages.

Great follow up to ''L'escapade'' and another good example of 70's French Symphonic Rock, though far from original.Still strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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