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Patrick Moraz - Out In The Sun CD (album) cover


Patrick Moraz

Crossover Prog

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3 stars Compared to Moraz' awesome and excessive debut sols album 'The Story of I' (or simply 'I'), 'Out in the Sun' does not reach the same level of originality and splendour - but it still is a good album. More 'pop'-oriented and with shorter (and more structured) songs, but at the same time it also demonstrates why Moraz was selected to be Wakemans replacement in Yes - his keyboard work is all over and spices up otherwise ordinary melodies, making the album a really enjoyable listen. The album was made just after his departure from Yes, and it is obvious that he was participating in the making of Yes' 'Going for the One' album - snippets of 'Awaken'may be heard on the opening of 'Time for change', if you listen carefully. The instrumental songs ('Rana Batucada' and 'Kabala') as well as ther over 9-minute long 'Time for change' are my personal favorites - but there are no reasons to skip any of the others song, for that matter. Recommended for Moraz- enthusiasts (they probably have it already), and well worth leending an ear to for the rest of us.
Report this review (#33321)
Posted Sunday, February 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Only "Time for a change" contains very interesting & varied parts: it is the progressive song of the album. You can notice the Latin influences on the album. Is this a music for the Carnival of Rio? Yes, some songs! The rest is an easy "pseudo accessible" rock elaboration, quite nervous, joyful and loaded, with the typical Moraz's expressive Latin oriented keyboards and happy lead vocals.
Report this review (#33322)
Posted Thursday, May 19, 2005 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars "Tootsie with my tentacles"

After Patrick Moraz's excellent debut solo album, "Out in the sun" came as something of a disappointment. For this album, Moraz retained John McBurnie to provide the vocals and write the English lyrics, so the prevailing sound is familiar. The album was partly recorded in Brazil where he lived, the influences of the music of that country once again being apparent. The overall feel though is light with strong pop overtones.

The opening title track is a rather strange mixture of Stephen Stills "Love the one you're with", and melodic synth. The Brazilian rhythms come to the fore for the first time on "Rana Batucada". Although this is an original Moraz composition, its basis in the traditional music of Brazil means it sounds extremely familiar. The remaining tracks on the first side of the album are bland pop rock songs with prosaic lyrics and unexciting melodies. That said, "Silver screen" does have a good synthesiser run to close.

The lyrical quality reaches its lowest point on "Tentacles" with "You tootsie with my tentacles, and churn up my insides". The song is a very ordinary pop number, which lacks even the basis of a hook. "Kabala" is a pleasant instrumental which rarely rises above lounge music. You can almost picture Moraz sitting in a corner of the cocktail bar playing this for hours on end.

"My engine is steaming like I said before oh yeah, I don't know where I'm going, don't you know anymore" indicates that it was not only McBurnie who was struggling with the lyrics. These come from "Love-hate-sun-rain-you", the only track whose lyrics McBurnie did not write. They were written by Moraz and Francois Zmirou, who performs lead vocal on the song. Zmirou's style is much more rock orientated giving the track a much rougher style. Unfortunately, this does not help any, the song being very ordinary.

The final track, "Time for a change" is all too true in terms of the album. Fortunately, Moraz does introduce change, by reverting to a generally more prog structure for this 9 minute suite in four movements. The first three sections are instrumental, Moraz building the piece through a variety of synths. The third part "Serenade" is an Emerson like piano recital which leads into the closing section, "Back to nature". Here, McBurnie does a reasonable impression of Dusty Springfield(!), the album closing on a fairly downbeat note.

In all, a very disappointing album, especially since expectations had been raised by Moraz first solo outing. Only "Time for a change" holds any real interest.

Report this review (#116625)
Posted Thursday, March 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
1 stars This is basically a Pop Prog album with an emphasis on the Pop side of the equation. The instrumental parts range from decent to half-decent, but the vocal parts are quite awful. The lyrics are mostly horrible. There are still some of the Latin/Brazilian influences on some tracks, but also some Jazz, Blues, Rock 'n' Roll, Pop and Disco influences! Maybe late 70's/early 80's Electric Light Orchestra is a good point of reference to this kind of music, but without any really memorable melodies! Maybe the very worst albums by the Alan Parsons Project also could give you some idea, or maybe Rick Wakeman's worst albums of the 80's (remember I'm So Straight I'm A Weirdo, anyone?)

With so many different styles explored, the album as a whole comes off as utterly disjointed and incoherent. There is basically nothing tying the different parts together. Therefore it feels more like a compilation (of leftovers?) than a genuine album effort. As I said, there are some decent instrumental moments where you can sense a progressive approach. And Moraz can really play the keyboards, as we all know. But even these better parts of the album lack anything to make them memorable or to make them stand out.

This is not a poor album in the sense that it is badly recorded or produced. But this album is evidence of poor judgement. It is an album void of anything to make it a worthy successor to The Story Of I. Therefore I can recommend this album to hard core fans and completionists only. (Or maybe to fans of Pop Prog as well?).

Report this review (#209024)
Posted Saturday, March 28, 2009 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Patrick Moraz once played a great music with Yes. But after he left the band, his musical career went different ways. That album is one of many examples.

First of all, it is pop album. OK, professionaly made pop album spiced with some art-pop arrangements. Yes, you can find there some jazzy tunes, plenty of latin/bossanova moments. All music is sunny, well rounded and fits to some holyday commercial on TV.

Moraz are classicaly trained keyboardist, and you can feel it there. Latino rhythm sections does its job well again. But all music atmosphere is absolutely below any progresive rock standard. Even Santana in his pop-Latin soul period played more inspired music. There you have an album, which could be perfectly used for back-up sound during your lunch in good, but not expensive restaurant.

Report this review (#245459)
Posted Wednesday, October 21, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Where to start? This is my favorite Patrick Moraz album. Is it poppy? Yes. Do the lyrics mostly suck? Yes, but that is a charge that could be fairly leveled at most prog rock IMHO.

So, why do I like this recording? Hard to say. I agree with many of the points of the negative reviews here - the lyrics suck , there is a familiarity with the Latin idioms used here (i.e. they are somewhat cliched) , etc, etc. But this record works for me.

First of all - it is very upbeat. Now, most of my prog favorites (72-74 King Crimson, early Tull, ELP even) are hardly upbeat - but this record is and I like it. It is upbeat and poppy and lyrically quite sappy but the MUSIC is very interesting! Those jazzy keyboard runs appeal to me and almost nobody does them better than Moraz. And he is generous here with juicy snippets at the end of most songs. As if to say "you suffered through those lyrics, here is your reward!".

Ok, I might be biased. My favorite, by far, Yes recording is Relayer which I consider their pinnacle achievement. They could not have made that record without Moraz. I love jazz idioms mixed with rock, they work so much better than classical idioms since they come from the same place.

The Latin rhythms and melodies here work great. The music is interesting, if somewhat pop oriented. Andy Newmark and the rest of the session players are in fine form. This is a happy recording, nothing wrong with that. Like most good music, this takes some time to "get". I get it and I like it and even "Tentacles" won't dissuade me.

Oh but by the way, "Love Hate Sun Rain You" is truly a song to be missed. No saving that one.

Report this review (#288507)
Posted Sunday, June 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Here we have the second album of the well known swiss keyboardist Patrick Moraz. Primarily known for having participated in the masterpiece of Yes, Relayer, Moraz provides some other good album: during his career, in fact, he worked with the Moody Blues and was named in 1973 to replace Keith Emerson, that just left The Nice to set up the ELP project. Moraz has also produced a series of solo albums, like this Out In The Sun. This is straight crossover prog, since we can hear in it some good pop / rock that recalls Supertram sometimes, created with a Latin vein, as seen in the previous album, Story Of I. Although slightly lower than the previous, also in Out In The Sun we can find some enjoyable ideas. Moraz's keyboards are a bit less virtuoso than Refugee's relese, but it is still dominant and capable of quite good work, in particular in the 9 minute-suite, Time for Change. The voice of John McBurnie does its job well enough, but also the performance of Francois Zmirou, who appears in Love-Hate-Sun-Rain- You, should be mentioned. In conclusion, for 70s keyboards fans and not only, Out In The Sun is good addition to your collection. It is not certainly a must-have, but it's still a good album worth listening to.
Report this review (#795638)
Posted Friday, July 27, 2012 | Review Permalink

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