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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - Excalibur: La Legende Des Celtes CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)


Various Genres

2.62 | 7 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars Castel Rock

I have reviewed Alan Simon's ambitious Excalibur albums in reverse chronological order. We come now to the first part of the trilogy. Like the second and third parts, here again Simon enlists a large number of artists from the Folk and Rock worlds. But unlike the other two this one plays more like a compilation of musically unrelated tracks; some songs are pure Pop Rock (in the vein of Supertramp whose Roger Hodgson performs here), some pure Folk Rock (in the vein of Fairport Convention who also performs here), and a few are New-Age/World-Rock in the style of Mike Oldfield (who is not involved even if it sounds like it).

The material is rather strong throughout, but it fails to integrate or fuse the various musical elements together. Indeed, the cuts on which Roger Hodgson performs could have come straight off a Supertramp album, and the ones featuring Fairport Convention equally could have been taken from one of their many albums (and they did indeed release a few of these songs on their own Fame & Glory album that is based entirely on material that they contributed to Alan Simon's Excalibur projects over the years). Another factor contributing to the slightly disintegrated nature of this album is that some lyrics (and all the narration) is in French, and some in English. This might be distracting for some listeners.

Overall, this is a less interesting album than the subsequent parts (Excalibur II & III), at least from a Prog perspective. Still, it is an enjoyable listen that will, at least in part, appeal to fans of both Celtic Folk Rock and Prog-related Pop Rock. Prog fans are however advised to investigate Excalibur II & III first.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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