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Argent - Argent  CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.10 | 73 ratings

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2 stars Argent is a band that really offers a wide variety of music. From the truly progressive to the pop-infused stadium rock'n'roll for which they have earned the most of their reputation. At least in the public eye. When Argent catches the progressive wave they are magnificent but when they crash into the rocky beach of pop'n'roll I am sure to skip to the next track. Unfair? Maybe, maybe not. Whatever you think of Argent as a band you cannot deny their musical abilities. They were truly masterful at handling their instruments. You can blame them for the weak spots in material but never in the execution. So, having said that I will tell you something about this debut by the band known as Argent.

If you listen to this album and their next one, "Ring of hands", you will hear a major difference. The follow up is packing a whole other punch and is by all account coloured by a real progressive flair that is great. On the debut they seem uncertain in which direction to go. The material is largely pop or (hard) rock but lacking in power. It's held back, thusly creating a sort of bland concoction of late 60's/ early 70's rock music with a hint of "hey, let's try prog or what do you think? Yes? No?"-attitude. There are songs that could have been more interesting if the band had felt more sure about their direction. "Be free" is such a a song, as is "Dance in the smoke" with the wonderfully warm organ of Rod Argent. But then songs like "Schoolgirl" or "Lonely hard road" harkens back to the shift from 60's blues/soul rock and pop into hard rock or prog of the 70's leaving the songs quite lacklustre an lost in translation.

I suppose it must be a challenge to totally redefine oneself, going from the R&B of The Zombies to explore new realms of music and by doing so be relevant to the new public ear of the early 70's. I see that and I acknowledge it. Considering the massive steps taken by the band on their second album one must view this as the dress rehearsal of the great band Argent. Not fully clothed, not fully in tune with the script or ideas that would emerge later on the fumbled through a set of songs that aren't bad but mostly dull. Sad to say, most of the music on this album fails to draw my attention. Having listened countless times I still find myself puzzled and un-moved by the content of the record. It's interesting mostly as a pre-cursor to what's coming but nothing more. This is like the few scattered huts on the seven hills of Rome, before they built a city and empire of powerful proportions. This is merely a hut but obviously competent and by no means rubbish. It's just not that good. It's not.

GruvanDahlman | 2/5 |


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