André Balzer — Entre l'alpha & l'omega (Opus 1)
(Musea MP 3227, 2011, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-10-20If the name doesn’t sound familiar, the voice certainly will. Balzer was the vocalist of French progressive band Atoll, and this ambitious solo concept album finds him in finest form, as composer, vocalist and guitarist. With a supporting cast of no less than 18 players and vocalists, the overall feel is a sort of dreamy and slightly jazz oriented art-rock with frequent flashes of instrumental brilliance. There’s also a folky undercurrent on many of the tunes as well, which plays well to a gentleness that follows through the entire effort. Some of the more rocking tunes like “Libera Nos” will most definitely remind the listener of Atoll in the Tertio and Rock Puzzle period. There are 19 tracks in all, though many are simply shorter spoken interludes that tie the main pieces together, some of which are strung together into longer suites. The eclectic nature of much of this tends to take a few listens to absorb; it tends to wander all over the place while going from one idea to the next. Many of the songs are melodically memorable, like the haunting “Lundi 5 au Soir” that whirrs along seemingly through a series of dark caverns, punctuated by portals of glowing intensity. There is plenty here to pique the imagination, and those conversant in French may get even more from its lyrical side. A solid and welcome return for Balzer.
Related artist(s): André Balzer
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more