zondag 14 november 2010

Alice - 1972 - Arrêtez Le Monde

Arrêtez Le Monde

01. Introduction
02. Salina
03. Arretez le Monde 1
04. Byzance
05. Il Est
06. Arretez le Monde 2
07. Overture
08. Le Roseau
09. Franky L'oiseau
10. Le Cercle 1
11. Le Cercle 2

- Paul Semama / guitars, vocals
- Luc Bertin / vocals, keyboards
- Ian Jelfs / guitars, Vocals
- Alain Suzan / guitars, bass, percussions, vocals
- Alain Weiss ("Doudou") / drums, vocals 

Second (and last) album from this early French Psych-prog rock group with one of the best album title ever: Arrêtez Le Monde (stop the planet/world) as in "stop the bus ride, let me out here". Behind this title, Alice's music is still the same despite line-up changes. Still lead by Alain Suzan, the multi-instrumentalist quintet is a triple guitar group with Suzan also chipping in flute and doing bass duties. Uncredited horns (mainly sax, but also a full section) are sprinkled throughout the album. Despite being recorded at the famed (well not yet) Hérouville studio, there are times where you'd swear this is a garage products with some cringey moments, with vocals being the weakest point.
After a small instrumental intro where Suzan's flute dominated over some heavy chords, the album verses into Salina, a good mid-tempo song that evolves constantly and often comes close to perfection. The great 13-mins mini-suite title track is the first time we hear their voices (except for small outbreaks in Salina) and the track is not far from being an end- of-Beatles Harrison track. Byzance returns to the heavy Crimson-ian moods that we'd heard sketches off in the introduction. A very pastoral flute over wind gusts, it could sound like a Crimson track of the first album, but it goes nowhere before the title track returns to end the album's first side.
The flipside opens with the short promising Ouverture (meaning, we're expecting another mini-suite), before letting the savage guitars rampage through les Roseaux (reeds, the plants) one of the weaker track along with "Quelqu'un qui t'aime" (atrocious vocals and ill- advised guitars), but Franky l'Oiseau is definitely not better-inspired with flawed vocals and again bad guitars. The closing two-parts Le Cercle turns 180° and turns out to be a real masterpiece despite an arduous start in the first part, but the second part shows just how majestic the album could've been with some masterful constantly changing prog that often nears perfection, coming with an exciting sax solo and some brass arrangements.

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