01. Removing (2:34)
02. Like a Flower (6:18)
03. Egnime (4:54)
04. Comme Avant (4:17)
05. Breakdown (6:31)
06. Nico (6:15)
07. Bellidor (7:12)
08. Waiting for the rain (5:47)
09. Theo (7:44)
- Maxime Goetz / guitars
- Eric Hervé / drums
- Stéphane Lemaire / keyboards
- Jean Rubert / saxophones, flutes
- Julien Taupin / violin, trumpet
- Didier Thibaut / bass, vocals
- Anton Yakovleff / cello, double bass
This must be one of the best comeback albums I've ever heard, I'm always a little hesitant in purchasing an album by a band who's golden era was 30 years ago, especially if I really liked their albums. I'm not sure Moving Gelatine Plates needs any introduction around here since so many people thinks so highly of their two first albums. Their third album "Moving" released in 1980, although contained some good material, is often regarded as subpar to the previous ones, but this is not the case with their latest album "Removing" which proves that Didier Thibault, the man (and voice) behind this band has still got it. This line up is completely new but still manages to sound very much like the old MGP, infact they are not trying to bring the 70's sound again, just the old spirit.
So when you're approaching a MGP album, what do you expect it to have? Fuzz bass, clever arrangements played with wind instruments as an integral part of their sound, fun vocals and overall a humoristic and breezy atmosphere. Well, everything seems to be in order then, you have all the ingredients for one more terrific album from this ultra cool band. As much as we all love those 70's albums, this is not trying to be a retro kind of album, but on the other hand succeeds on being a product of its time. The band's style is pretty much intact and you can easily sense they are much more mature now, the compositions are a little more focused and less experimental and adventurous then before, that of course doesn't mean it's less progy, these guys are far from losing their artistic side. The music this time has less canterbury feel (infact you can say it's almost gone) and more jazzy progressive style. There are no freak out outbursts or any crazy ideas, they are not trying to challenge the listener with sudden breaks or all kind of freaky directions, everything is on the spot, so carefully thought out, and immaculately executed, the songwriting is mature and right and the songs contains a huge amount of small details weaved into the melodies, which I think might take a little time to fully notice and appreciate. While their first two albums had a more complex nature, this album, although still maintaining a certain amount of complexity is trying to focus on delivering a good melody or have a cool theme which the band develops. I can't say which side of the band I prefer, but I certainly like both of them.
As I said the songs are not as complex as before but the band knows how to compensate it by a clever use of layers, the wind instruments contribute so much, and colorfully painting the songs with all kinds of warm colors, from filling the songs with a beautiful background to playing the leads or essentially soloing, this is of course achieved with a respectable arsenal of instruments like saxophone, trumpet, violin, flute, piano and cello, in addition to keys, guitars, bass and drums. Needless to say that this band is incapable of delivering anything weak, the high level of creativity is maintained throughout the entire album. But as much as I enjoy their songwriting and arrangements, what truly wins the jackpot here is the playing itself, which is no less than stellar!! every member delivers memorable hooks played with great passion and feel, just check out "Enigme" a jazzy jam featuring a stunning playful trumpet along with some cool guitar playing. "Breakdown" is another highlight, a progy tune which includes all the instruments weaved inside each other with an inspiring interplay, excellent violin work on this one. I won't go into each song because it will take forever, but I think you get the picture.
I hope Mr. Thibault hasen't said his final words yet and will grace us with at least one more album sometime soon, but in the meantime we have this beautiful album to enjoy. He cleverly surrounded himself with an incredible set of musicians and by this managed to outdo himself and deliver a well crafted album full of great sensitivity. Although it's hard to beat the classics this is recommended not only to fans of the band but to newcomers as well.