ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages


Odessey & Oracle - 2020 - "Crocorama"

(41.00; Dur et Doux)


There are various labels I work with who have created an identity for themselves, one of which is Dur et Doux. I could not remember who had sent me this album to review, but I was pretty sure it could only have been them, and it took just a few seconds to track down the relevant email in their folder. To say this is a delightful pop album full of joys and memories of the late Sixties is understating it somewhat a lot, as this is something which for me evokes images of Paris in the spring, from a period of naivety the likes of which we will never see again. The band is Fanny L'Heritier (vocals, electric pianos, analogue keyboards), Alice Baudoin (harpsichord, positive pipe organ, recorder, baroque oboe), Guillaume Medioni (guitars, banjo, bass guitar, analogue synthesizers, vocals) and Romeo Monteiro (drums, percussions) and I am so glad it is performed in French (a language I stopped speaking more than 40 years ago) as that just adds to the overall ambience. The keyboards are sometimes just that, while at others they are mimicking brass or woodwind instruments, and although there are times when the sound does seem to come far more up to date, such as on “Antoine Rouge”, it never lasts too long and we are soon transported back in time. I have seen this band described as both psychedelic pop and baroque pop, and while I believe them to be much more of the former than the latter, I can understand where the description comes from. Search for Odyssey & Oracle on the web, and of course one comes back with multiple references to one of the most wonderful albums of all time, and I am sure the taking of that name (especially as it is in English) must be due to the way they hold The Zombies in such high acclaim, and there are plenty of times during this album where one can imagine Rod Argent being involved. “Melodie #1” is a real highlight, with scat vocals over the top of keyboards which is so evocative of springtime. Compare that to “Ferdinand L'Albigeois” which commences life as if it was a courtly piece of music from hundreds of years ago, a theme to which they often return with recorder and harpsichord, but then they also allow themselves to bring it into the modern(ish) day with electric guitar and a high tempo. There are times when this album reminds me of the music which used to play in cinemas when I was a child, and certainly just playing this takes me back in time. Unlike many released on Dur et Doux, this isn’t an album which takes some time to fully comprehend but can be enjoyed with childish innocence the very first time and it just keeps getting better.

Progtector: August 2020

Related Links:

Odessey & Oracle Dur et Doux


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