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Dan Ar Braz - Allez Dire a La Ville CD (album) cover


Dan Ar Braz


Prog Folk

3.68 | 10 ratings

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4 stars Ar Braz' followup to "Douar Nevez" which translates to "Go tell the city", is more song oriented, but still a logical extension of his progressive Celtic explorations. His gravelly voice, normally matched with mellower acoustic backing in subsequent releases, is instead accompanied by harder guitars, bass and percussion. In fact, it comes across as having been schooled in the more dramatic Ange style, which, like Ange, sometimes works, sometimes not.

From the opener, we are flooded with urban sentiments to reflect the narrator who is leaving town and wants it known he will not be returning. This is one place where the marriage of uniquely 1970s French prog and Celtic music works wonders. The participation of the likes of Benoit Widemann and Francis Moze of Magma lend a certain free form fusion quality to the backings that elevate the songs above the pop pantheon. Ar Braz also disperses solid instrumentals that run the gamut from mellow and acoustic ("Dimanche Apres Midi") to Celtic laments complete with pipes ("Farewell Bob Brown") and jazzy electric guitar excursions supported by Widemann's synth work and Moze's funky bass ("Les oiseaux et les électrons de Brenilis" and "L'amour, le nucléaire et le crépuscule").

At times this diverse work tries to be a bit too encompassing as in the pure Celtic "Suite Ecossaise" or in the overly melodramatic "Requiem pour le jet", and a few of the ballads, while being pleasant, lack sufficient spark to really ignite the listening experience, but the album closes with one of his most heartfelt vocals in "Plainte de Yann Vari Perrot". While certainly not a progger's paradise, Ar Braz sophomore solo album is a unique effort boasting a variety of deftly integrated influences. It barely sounds dated, so for that I have no qualms adding a half star...and you can tell that to the city, from the rooftops.

kenethlevine | 4/5 |


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