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TRACK LIST: 1. Poursuite sur le Peripherique Nord 5:06 2. 8 Aout 0H15 125-eme Rue 5:13 3. L'Amour au Grand Air 5:59 4. Cadence D'Eperonnage 3:59 5. Danse Rituele Talmouse 4:19 6. L'Eveil de L'Acrobate 3:08 7. L'Obus Rouille Trouve Dans la Dune 3:09 8. Les Funerailles du Voyeur 4:13 9. We Are the Zoo 2:13 Bonus tracks: 10. KO 3:37 11. Fille de la Ville 3:47 12. Passage de la Fonderie 1:28 All tracks: by Breant. Produced by Breant & A. Harwood. LINE-UP: Francois Breant - keyboards (+ vocals on 9) Emmanuel Lacordaire - drums & percussion Pascal Arroyo - basses With: Didier Lockwood - violins Mick Martin - guitars Liza Deluxe - vocals & vocalizes & A few other additional musicians
Prolusion. Musea Records continues restoring and re-mastering recordings of the French and international Progressive's past and releasing them on CD. "Voyeur Extra-Lucide" is the second album by one of the best French keyboardists Francois Breant, who, by the way, was the member of a Hard Rock outfit before starting his solo (progressive!) career. The review of the man's debut, "Sons Optiques", can be read by clicking >here.
Synopsis. On "Voyeur Extra-Lucide", Francois Breant follows most of the basic compositional and arrangement aspects of music laid on his first album. Still, the music is exceptionally original, various keyboards are the prominent soloing instruments, and the quantity of orchestral arrangements here, including those with the use of chamber instruments, is approximately the same as that on "Sons Optiques". Stylistically, however, this album is more diverse. Also, one of the tracks: We Are the Zoo (9) turned out to be a song, the central vocal parts of which are performed by Francois and Liza Deluxe, and the others by mixed operatic choir. No 'Rock' instruments have been used here, as well as on L'Amour au Grand Air, Cadence D'Eperonnage, and Passage de la Fonderie (3, 4, & 12), the first two of which are with operatic choir vocalizations and, just like We Are the Zoo, represent a blend of classical music and opera. The short Passage de la Fonderie consists exclusively of solos of harpsichord, some of which sound not unlike those of acoustic guitar, and is a piece of pure classical music. Didier Lockwood (of Zao fame) contributed his violin passages to the four tracks: the said L'Amour au Grand Air, and also L'Eveil de L'Acrobate, Les Funerailles du Voyeur, and L'Obus Rouille Trouve Dans la Dune (6, 8, & 7 respectively), though he really shines only on the first of them. The first two of these are about a blend of Symphonic Art-Rock and Classical Music and are as outstanding as any of the aforementioned compositions. Here, I must interrupt myself so as to declare that the six depicted compositions form 'the gold fund' of the album. L'Obus Rouille Trouve Dans la Dune, and also 8 Aout 0H15 125-eme Rue and Fille de la Ville (2 & 11), feature Mick Martin, whose distinctly improvisational way of playing guitar made the stylistics of each of these three a rather unusual mixture of Art-Rock and Jazz-Fusion. The album's opener Poursuite sur le Peripherique Nord represents a classic keyboard-driven Symphonic Progressive in pure form, and Danse Rituele Talmouse and KO (5 & 10) Art-Rock with Latin American rhythms. These two are, maybe, 'exotic birds', but they don't fit the overall musical atmosphere of the album and are my least favorite tracks here.
Conclusion. Perhaps it's apparent only to me, but I have a rather strong feeling that some shorter compositions here are either presented not in their entirety or weren't properly completed. I think they have yet to be completed, as they stop too unexpectedly, in my view, and I just hear their further logical development. Nevertheless, the second Francois Breant effort is in most cases on par with its predecessor and, similarly, can easily be considered one of the best progressive albums created at the very end of the seventies, not to mention the beginning of the eighties. Undoubtedly, recommended.
VM: April 15, 2004
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