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Tracklist: 1. Someday 3-19 2. Mary Ann 5-16 3. I'm a Niger 3-43 4. Everybody On Monday 4-47 5. Lonely People 5-01 6. Speed Fever 5-56 7. Oh Tell Me July 2-43 8. It's Marvelous 3-09 Line-up: Davey - lead guitars, vocals Saul - rhythm guitar, vocals Carlos - keyboards, vocals Manuel - drums & percussion Ernesto - bass All arrangements by Gore & Kretzmer, except - all wind instruments arrangements by Newhouse. Produced by Rascal Reporters. Recorded by Rascal Reporters 1995 to 1999, except tracks 1,7&10 - by RR & Newhouse. Engineered at "Bass Mint" and "Alonesoul" studios (MI) by S. Gore and Bill Andrews.
Prologue. Another mega-rarity (there are only two known copies of the original album) reissued on CD by the UK's premier Prog label Hi-Note. (Furthermore, there are lots of unique, by all means, mega-rarities in the back catalogue of one of the four label's divisions Background). Another example, which demonstrates that Peru is one of just a few countries that, apart from the UK (of course!), were very rich in musical talents at the Dawn of Progressive and Rock music in general. (There is one other Peruvian band whose album I am going to review this week.)
The Album. Despite the fact that there are two accessible songs (Everybody On Monday and It's Marvelous) and, in addition, two vocal episodes, reminding of The Beatles (on Mary Ann and still the same It's Marvelous), on Laghonia's "Et Cetera", this is, on the whole, a truly original and very, very interesting album. While even both the said accessible songs sound at least good in the overall context of the album, all the other six tracks are wonderful. First of all, because there is always something magical in songs written with a real inspiration and sincere heart (which usually happens only in youth, though a marvelous phenomenon of the Dawn and Golden Age of the (hippie? ok!) Rock music movement is out of time and space). Secondly, because instrumental arrangements (no matter if they're too complex or not) work not only in instrumental parts of each of these songs, but along with vocals as well. Thirdly, because all of the vocal and instrumental themes and arrangements of these songs are incredibly inventive and, what's especially impressive, they (the vocal and instrumental themes and arrangements) as astonishing to suit each other as a crystal shoe fits the foot of Cinderella. Finally, vocally all of them sound thoughtful and even dramatic sometimes, unlike both the accessible songs that, in my view, are too optimistic for an overall feel of the album. While all of the six songs, I am talking about, are excellent, of course, I have my personal favourites among them: Mary Ann, Lonely People, and Speed Fever. Though, actually, these are the longest songs of the album and are filled with progressive elements more than the others: I'm a Niger, Oh Tell Me July, and Someday.
Summary. Although it is obvious to me that Laghonia's "Et Cetera" album is inspired by the late creation of The Beatles, I feel happy knowing that these Peruvian guys didn't borrow anything from the Fathers of Rock. While the level of complexity of the music of this band and an overall atmosphere of their album (the latter - just in some ways, though) are similar to the same characters of "The Beatles" (1968) and "Abbey Road" (1969), on the whole "Et Cetera" sounds very sincere and refreshing. The sound quality of the album, both the compositional and performing capabilities of the musicians, indeed, even the pronunciation of English by each of the band's three vocalists, - everything gladdens me when I listen to this not too complex yet very tasteful work. Believe me, even if you're more than a profound Prog-head and you think there is already nothing that could amaze you in the world of music, you won't resist the inventiveness and charm of Laghonia and their only album.
VM. October 30, 2001
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