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Tracklist: 1. Renaissance 3:40 (inst.) 2. Jamais j'aurais du grandir 5:12 3. Le roi du temps gris 5:32 4. Vagues a l'ame 4:45 (inst.) 5. Une autre chance 5:55 6. La cle 3:24 (inst.) 7. Dans la cite des incredules 8:32 8. La rumeur 2:27 9. Enterre vivant 5:14 10. Entre reel et imaginaire 6:00 All tracks: by Raison De Plus. Line-up: Jean-Louis Henriet - vocals; electric, semi- & acoustic guitars Alain Bassinot - bass guitar Patrick Schweighoffer - drums & percussion Philippe Rose - keyboards; flute Dominique Marrion - electric guitars, keyboards Recorded, mixed, & produced by Raison De Plus at the band's rehearsal room.
Prologue. New names appear on the map of "Musea Records" continuously, and Raison De Plus is one of them. However, "Ici est Ailleurs" is the second album by this band. While their debut album "Au Bout du Couloir", which was released by the same "Musea" seven years ago, is already almost forgotten.
The Album. On the whole, Raison De Plus's album "Ici est Ailleurs" represents a rather original Classic Symphonic Art-Rock of a moderate complexity. What's interesting is that with the exception of Enterre vivant (9), the intros of all of the other tracks on the album begin with a short narration. The varied voices of nature, such as the sound of the waves, cries of the birds, etc, are present on most of the tracks of this album as well. There are seven songs and three instrumentals on "Ici est Ailleurs" and, overall, all of them are of a unified stylistic concept. Le roi du temps gris (3) is the only song here, which slightly differs from all of the others. It's because that, apart from Jean-Luis Henriet, it also features two different lead singers and several back vocalists (all of which are probably guest musicians). To be honest, unlike all of the other tracks on the album, I didn't like Le roi du temps gris, which reminds me of songs that are typical for the latest creation of Alan Parsons. All of the other tracks on the album are excellent and completely original. The instrumental arrangements are equally intensive throughout each of them regardless whether these are songs or purely instrumental pieces (see track list). The alternation of harsh, powerful and hard-edged, and soft, symphonic and melodious, structures, frequent changes of tone and mood, etc are typical for all of the remaining nine tracks as well. The arrangements consist mainly of diverse interplay between either the fast and virtuosi solos of electric guitar and one of the synthesizers or mellow passages of acoustic guitar and one of the analog keyboards. The heavy guitar riffs, the solos of bass guitar, flute, organ, and piano play a significant role in the arrangements not that often, though all of them are tasteful and virtuosi. The work of the drummer P. Schweighoffer is diverse and masterful throughout the entire album. While Jean-Luis Henriet is a very good vocalist, I am impressed with the performing skills of his colleagues more than with his singing. (Perhaps, it's because of he sings in French, while his vocals aren't as expressive as those of Ange's Christian Decamps, for example.)
Summary. While "Ici est Ailleurs" by Raison De Plus is not a masterpiece, it is, nevertheless, an excellent album, which is full of various hallmarks of Classic Symphonic Art-Rock. However, as I've mentioned more than once, it seems it is really hard to create something truly innovative within the framework of this genre. Even the presence of certain originality on this album won't help it (as well as hundreds of the other albums, though) to become a Classic for the Future. Nevertheless, "Ici est Ailleurs" is an album, which is really worthy of collection of all those whose only yet all-absorbing 'progressive' passion is called Classic Symphonic Art-Rock.
VM. May 1, 2002
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