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Rock Puzzle

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Audio CD, June 6, 2003
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ATOLL is one of the most renowned Seventies French Progressive rock bands, if not one of the best. With three albums ("Musiciens-Magiciens" in 1974, "L’Araignée-Mal" in 1975 and "Tertio" in 1977) already in their bag, the musicians reached the state of their art with "Rock Puzzle" in 1979. This album presents a music more concise and varied than before, that followed the same orientation as the one taken by ANGE and MONA LISA at the same period. As an exceptional bonus, one could find three previously unreleased tracks with the great John WETTON ! Disappointed by the split-up of UK, the British singer-bassist had seriously thought about joining the band from Metz. He gave them such songs as "Here Comes The Feeling", performed a few months later by… ASIA ! A much sought-after collector’s item ! The four first ATOLL studio albums are now reissued by the Musea label in Digipack format, reproducing the original vinyl cover.

1. L'Age D'Or - Dans 8000 Ans
2. L'Ultime Rock
3. Kaelka
4. Smarto Kitschy
5. Eau - H2O
6. Garces De Femmes
7. La Maison De Men-Tää
8. Puzzle
9. L'Ultime Rock - Studio Z Version
10. Puzzle - Studio Z Version
11. Atari, That's A Game ! - Smarto Kitschy American Mix
12. Here Comes The Feeling
13. No Reply
14. Eye To Eye

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 6, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 1979
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • ASIN: B00009YP3H
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,406,543 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey J.Park VINE VOICE on June 18, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have to admit that this 1979 album was not as bad as I expected, although the overall quality is far below the excellent L'Araignee Mal (1975) and the very good Tertio (1977). Unfortunately, Atoll caved in to record company pressures to embrace the musical mainstream and elements of disco and other popular styles turn up. As can be imagined, the mix of progressive and mainstream pop styles did not work very well.

Although there are some nice moments here and there, particularly with the spacey synthesizer pads played on the Eminent and the occasional haunting melody, there is an uneven feel to the album. Evidently, some of the guys in the group were unhappy about the watering down of the prog rock aspects and apparently felt compelled to play more notes to compensate for it. A great example of this is provided by Christian Beya; while a great guitarist (heavily influenced by Steve Howe), he overplays at points - sometimes to the point of distraction. The vocals (in French) are also a bit off at times and sometimes sound strained and ragged.

Although this may not sound very appealing, there are a few tunes that nicely balance the prog and pop aspects and actually work fairly well. The technical abilities of the players are also quite high (sometimes too high) and that can not be denied either. Unfortunately, the lack of a clear musical direction took its toll and this album is ultimately neither here nor there; not quite prog enough or pop enough to satisfy either audience. Indeed, the group would disband after the release of Rock Puzzle, with some of the guys leaving the music business entirely.

This remastered effort by Musea is pretty good and features loads of informative liner notes and good sound quality.
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