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Nichelodeon - NichelOdeon





3.68 | 12 ratings

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Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Bath Salts + InSonar "L'Enfant et le Ménure' - NichelOdeon/InSonar (59/100)

I don't think it would be fair to call Bath Salts + L'Enfant et le Mènurea real 'split' album; both are driven by the same core member (Claudio Milano) and both operate by similar guidelines. Both NichelOdeon and InSonar could be resomably described as 'avant-ambient' progressive rock, both projects' included albums are unreasonably long, both projects highlight Claudio Milano as a brilliant vocalist, and both employ far more guest musicians than they rightly know what to do with. In a sense, L'Enfant et le Mènure and Bath Salts are close mirrors of one another. While the former goes for an 'everything but the sink' approach to avant-prog (that ultimately leaves it feeling indistinct) Bath Salts grounds the sound a little more, cutting out some of the unnecessary filler and capitalizing purely on Milano's voice. Between the two, Bath Salts is endlessly better than its counterpart. Listening to the two back-to-back only reinforces this notion.

Eating up over three hours cumulatively, Bath Salts + L'Enfant et le Mènure isn't something I would recommend be heard in a single listen. Even one of these albums can be tough to get through at once; not necessarily due to the quality but the aimlessly subdued instrumentation shared by both albums. Even the strongest material here demands a level of patience some listeners may not have. If you're thinking about getting into this, check out the first disc of Bath Salts; it's the most grounded and consistent of the four CDs, and arguably delivers the best experience. As a final word, I'd like to bring attention to the album's packaging. The cardboard layer atop the CDs and booklets is plain, save for the green imprint of lips atop it. I think it reflects the music here fairly well; minimalism, with an almost out-of-place theatrical touch.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |


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