Ergo Sum — Mexico
(Musea FGBG 4066.AR, 1971/1993, CD)
by Peter Thelen, 1994-02-01:Ergo Sum was an early French progressive band, a six-piece featuring flute and violin, as well as the standard guitars, bass, drums and keyboards, plus a vocalist (Lionel Ledissez) who sounds remarkably like Richie Havens. This is a very strong album, but its strength may not be apparent at first listen, Ledissez' voice does take a little time to get accustomed to, which may seem a little out-of-place in a progressive setting, but before long the power of this album becomes apparent, the melody, energy and unique character of the band support Ledissez' abrasive voice well, and the writing is top-notch. For the record, the vocals are sung in English, and the lyrics are quite good. Also included on the CD are the A and B sides of two singles released by the band.
by Henry Schneider, 1994-02-01:
In the late sixties the French progressive rock scene started to explode with bands. However the major French record labels gave these bands a rough deal. Recognizing this problem after his stint with Magma, Laurent Thibault formed the Theleme label patterned after the English label Island. The name Theleme was inspired by the ideal community depicted in Rabelais’ Gargantua where he glorified happiness and open mindedness in all its forms. Laurent signed his first band Ergo Sum and recorded their debut album Mexico in August 1971. The original album mix was not adequate for the CD medium so Musea remixed Mexico under the direction of Thibault. Besides the remix and reordering of the tracks, Musea included the bonus tracks "All’s So Comic," "Tijuana," "It’s Me," and a short instrumental excerpt of "Mexico." Ergo Sum were excellent musicians who played a complex music reminding me of Jethro Tull, Zao, Magma, and It’s A Beautiful Day. What puzzles me most about Ergo Sum was their choice in vocalists. Lionel Ledissez’ grating gravely voice totally destroyed the listening pleasure of this album. He sounds as if his voice is barely under control. The slightest bit of effort on Ledissez’ part causes it to distort and disintegrate with the result being indecipherable English lyrics. The only song where his voice complements the music is "Mexico" where Ledissez sounds like a bandito who has had too much mescal. It is a shame. This album contains some wonderful violin solos reminiscent of David Laflamme and equally magnificent Hammond organ licks. I have mixed reactions to Mexico and cannot recommend this reissue.
Related artist(s): Ergo Sum
There's No Time Like the Present – The Belgian band Present has been one of the best avant-rock bands in the world since its formation in 1979. Over the years since then, Present has released nine amazing albums, and now they're ready to start work on number ten. They're looking for some financial help from their fans around the world. » Read more
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Various Artists - The River of Constant Change - A Tribute to Genesis – There’s no disputing the pervasive influence of Genesis on much of the progressive rock of today, and this two-disc set is the first of two tributes paying homage to them. This one features... (1996) » Read more