Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: World Music, Pop, Rock
Listen to Samples
Incredible Emotional Depth
Jeffrey J.Park | Massachusetts, USA | 03/30/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Listening to Emile Jacotey forced me to re-assess my definition of Progressive Rock. Specifically, while the arrangements are not particularly complicated, and the members of Ange are certainly not virtuosos, they possess incredible emotional depth and "cosmic sensibilities". This is best illustrated on the piece "Sur la Trace des Fees" which can be profitably compared to "Epitaph" by King Crimson, and "River of Life" by Premiata Forneria Marconi. Many of the tracks on the CD might be considered just "experimental rock" without actually being very progressive such as "Bele, Bele Petite Chevre", "Le Nain de Stanislas", and the four-part "Ego et Deus" suite. It is worth noting that, upon reading the CD cover, the implication is that "Ego et Deus" is an 18 minute suite when in fact it is just a series of four, quite distinct and separate "songs". My favorite piece on Emile Jacotey is "Le Marchand des Planetes", which is a subdued and sythesiser heavy piece with a somewhat jazzy (yet "spacey" and "cosmic") rhythm arrangement. In spite of the seeming distinctness of the songs on the CD, what makes Emile Jacotey a complete work are the brief snippets of spoken narrative (by what I am presuming to be the elderly gentleman on the cover) that thread the whole thing together. Very highly recommended in addition to "Au dela du delire" (1974)."
A Rich, Savory Feast
C. F. Kemp | Pacific Grove, CA USA | 09/29/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This album, by the landmark French band, Ange, is the follow-up to their milestone, Au-Dela Du Delire. While Emile Jacotey doesn't scale the heights of that album (what could?) there is still a lot to like about it.
Listeners should be advised, however, that like French food, Emile Jacotey is extremely rich in flavor, and perhaps not for everyone's palate. Indeed, this may strike you as a harsh album in terms of sound at first listen, one that is difficult to get through. This impression is no doubt reinforced by the opening seconds of the first cut, "Bele, Bele Petite Chevre." Ange deals in naked emotion--it's a strength of theirs, in fact--and vocalist Christian Decamps is right there, band furiously working behind him, laying it all out for you before you have a chance to take a breath.
But after a few listens, Emile Jacotey reveals its true nature, and though it doesn't consistently maintain the atmosphere and beauty of its predecessor, it is an outstanding album, full of the folk-based strengths that make Ange a one-of-a-kind experience. These include plenty of beautiful melodies--many of them delivered acoustically--as well as the dreamlike keyboards that are an Ange trademark (Francis Decamp's mellotron has a very unique, echoey sound, endemic to the band) and Jean-Michel Brezovar's tasteful, but never flashy, sustained guitar lines.
I think the reason these highlights--many of them in contradistinction to the listener's first impressions--are so slow to surface is that Emile Jacotey is an album of such contrasts. It's in your face one moment, seductive the next, constantly keeping you off balance. Because most of the songs are relatively compact--Ange is not prone to the expanded epics favored by so many progressive rock bands--the changes in mood tend to overwhelm at first. You need to settle in and relax, open up to what's coming your way and let it in. The good news is, because of its textural complexity, you probably won't get tired of this album for a long time.
Now a few caveats for the uninitiated. This IS Ange--and as such you have to accept the histrionically delivered lyrics of Christian Decamps in his native tongue. To me, it's a logical evolution (albeit a French offshoot) of Peter Gabriel's earlier work, but it may take some adjusting to, as it comes from an aesthetic place that's not at all common, especially in the U.S. If you buy into it, however, Decamps' hyperdramatic approach adds to the uniqueness of the band's sound, and is a key element of what makes it so French and, more to the point, so powerful and unforgettable.
If you have never heard Ange and want to try them out, I would probably recommend you buy Au Dela De Delire first. But if you come to love that record, as I do, Emile Jacotey is a good second purchase for your collection. This is music of a singular nature and should not be overlooked.
A beautiful album
Alfredo Yung | Buenos Aires Argentina | 04/29/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the Ange album you should get after "Au dela du delire". It is full of beautiful melodies and has kind of an intimate sound, like if the guys were playing the songs only for you. Get it."