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THE BOX

Crossover Prog • Canada


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The Box biography
Canadian act THE BOX, in the very beginning known as Checkpoint Charlie, was formed by Jean-Marc Pisapia (vocals) back in 1981. He recruited Guy Florent (guitars) and Jean-Pierre Brie (bass) for this venture, and with the help of a drum machine a single was recorded; which subsequently landed the band a record contract. Their first full length album saw the light in 1984, simply named The Box..

1984 saw Florent leaving the band, replaced by Claude Thibeault (guitars); and with the addition of Guy Pisapia (keyboards) and Philippe Bernard (drums) the band had a line-up that would last for the rest of the first part of their career.

The Box became a popular act, especially in their native country Canada, and had several hit singles from the albums released throughout the 80's. "All the Time, All the Time, All the Time" was issued in 1985, and "Closer Together" from 1987 saw the band reaching their commercial peak; with three hit singles from this production.

After heavy touring supporting their hit album, The Box decided to take a break. 1990 saw them return with the album "The Pleasure and the Pain". This latest venture failed to achieve the same appeal as their previous productions though, and after releasing the compilation "A Decade of Box Music" in 1992 The Box decided to call it a day.

11 years later, in 2003, Pisapia decided that he wanted to revive The Box. When it turned out that none of the original members were keen to reform the band, he decided to form a completely new outfit. In doing so, he also got the opportunity to do something he had wanted to do for several years - to compose, record and perform progressive rock.

In 2005 the first album from the second chapter of this outfit's history saw the light of day, a concept album named "Black Dog There".

WHY IS THIS BAND LISTED AT PROGARCHIVES:
Canadian act THE BOX have been added to the database due to the style of music they've chosen to explore after reforming in 2003; with one album so far (and hopefully more coming) containing mainstream-oriented progressive rock of several varieties; with nods to space rock and heavy prog in particular; as well as a few high class ballads.

The Box official website

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THE BOX discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

THE BOX top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.87 | 18 ratings
The Box
1984
4.15 | 18 ratings
All the Time, All the Time, All the Time
1985
3.71 | 12 ratings
Closer Together
1987
2.30 | 8 ratings
The Pleasure and the Pain
1990
3.35 | 18 ratings
Black Dog There
2005
4.17 | 50 ratings
D'Après Le Horla De Maupassant
2009

THE BOX Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

THE BOX Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

THE BOX Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
A Decade of Box Music
1992

THE BOX Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

THE BOX Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Black Dog There by BOX, THE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.35 | 18 ratings

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Black Dog There
The Box Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars The Box were one of the very good Canadian bands back in the 80's with a charming New Wave/Art Pop style of their own.Formed in 1981 by former-Men Without Hats member Jean-Marc Pisapia, the band released four full-length albums between 1984 and 1990, most of them were quite succesful, before disbanding in 1992.In early-00's though Pisapia revived the group with a fresh line-up with Denis Faucher on keyboards, Isabelle Lemay on backing vocals, Martin Lapierre on drums, Francois Bruneau on guitar and Dan Volj on bass and The Box released their fifth release ''Black Dog There'' in 2005 on Universal's Komfy label.

As the days of New Wave had totally faded, Pisapia had to come up with a different style of music.So ''Black Dog There'' could easily be desribed as an Art/Space Rock album with again strong Pop flavors, unfolding around the story of an astronaut, who finds himself stuck in a parallel universe after an explosion of the space shuttle he was crewing, derived from the interest of Pisapia in quantum mechanics and modern physics.Musically the group tries to come up with short, intelligent compositions, but while there is a slight turn to more adventurous themes compared to the past, the album is heavily driven by its concept, thus led by Pisapia's vocal story.It reminds me of CARPTREE at moments without being as dark-sounding, in contrary the album's atmosphere is quite pleasant all the way.Unfortunately this work is quite short (38 minutes) and about half of it is consumed around the concept story with intense vocals supported by little to almost no music background, just some sparse synths, acoustic guitars or accordion.The richer tracks are definitely more interesting, though with limited prog flavor, and sounds a bit like SPOCK'S BEARD more easy-going material, featuring some decent keyboard and guitar ideas.

Listening to this album you get the feeling that The Box were more daring during the 80's than in recent years.Pretty decent tunes, but nothing more than that, the vocals are also good but dominate the album in an extended deegree.For fans of the band and Art Pop-Rock...2.5 stars.

 All the Time, All the Time, All the Time by BOX, THE album cover Studio Album, 1985
4.15 | 18 ratings

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All the Time, All the Time, All the Time
The Box Crossover Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars First of all a big thankyou to Julian (Gooner) for allowing me to hear this long out of print album. THE BOX were a band I was very familiar with as an avid music listener in the eighties. They had several hits on the radio during that decade and I always appreciated their clever and creative tunes. They are from Quebec but the words were in English and Jean-Marc their singer has such a good voice.

I feel the need to mention my buddy Thomas (tszirmay) who many on here know for his flowery, humerous and well written reviews. Thomas is one of i'm sure a few on this site who was there when Prog began and has been a faithful fan ever since. His parents immigrated to Canada from Hungary when he was a baby and Thomas lived a charmed life including going to private schools which is where he became good friends Jean-Marc the lead singer from THE BOX as well as the lead singer from MEN WITHOUT HATS. This was of course before these guys became somewhat famous in Canada but Thomas tells me both of these guys were into Prog.

I was certainly taken back to the eighties everytime I listened to this over the past couple of weeks. The synths and beat can't help but bring that era to mind but for me it's a good thing because it takes me back to a great time in my life. So lets take a quick look at this charming album from 1985.

"Remnants" is a top three for me in fact it's my favourite which is surprising because i've never heard this one before. Love the atmosphere to start and the relaxed guitar that joins in. Vocals 1 1/2 minutes in. Man this is pure emotion for me. There's some beautiful tension late. "With All This Cash" is all about the humerous lyrics. I'm not big on the accompanying music but hey that's not what this song is about. "And Say Goodbye" opens with solo multi-tracked vocals then those eighties sounding synths with a beat take over before the vocals return. A feel good tune for me that is mid-paced. "School" opens with the school bell going off then this uptempo synth-led soundscape kicks in. How good is this ! The words are about hating school. Great stuff. "Friends" is pretty good song about friends of course.

"To What We Shall Believe" is a catchy eighties sounding track with vocals. Some nice guitar before 4 minutes. "My Dreams Of You" is tough to keep out of my top three but i'll rate it as my fourth favourite. This has the album's title in it of course repeated during the chorus. Synths and a beat lead the way before the vocals join in just before a minute. Great track ! "L'Affaire Dumoutier (Say To Me)" is a six minute track that was on the radio a lot back in the day. If you heard this now you would probably be surprised at this. I would call this proggy as we get narration coming and going throughout describing the whole affair. This includes other people speaking as well. It's about a murder and is very creative to say the least. Very catchy too which is why it was a hit. There is the radio edit and an extended version as part of the bonus tracks. A top three. "Evil In me" is the final song and the other top three for me. Lots of synths to start before it kicks in with deep bass and drums. This reminds me of SAGA. Great chorus too. I need to mention one bonus track that really "does it" for me, it's called "For The First And Very Last" . It actually reminds me of FRUITCAKE but with better vocals. An emotional and laid back tune that I really enjoy.

Well these albums are hard to come by but if you can get any of their first three recordings i'd jump on it. I hear their most recent release is excellent as well. A solid four stars.

 D'Après Le Horla De Maupassant by BOX, THE album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.17 | 50 ratings

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D'Après Le Horla De Maupassant
The Box Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Jazz-Rock / Fusion / Canterbury Team

4 stars What a magnificent album to sneak out of Québec! Too bad it's taken 18 months to climb into ProgArchives' ranks and garner a little of its much deserved attention.

1. "The Overture" (9/10) is everything a prog song should be: using unusual folk instruments, shifting back and forth from delicate to power, changing tempos, complicated vocal harmonies, awesomely clear lead vocals (in their own native language!)

2. "Incubus" (10/10) sucks you into its web with the first strands of its foundational alternating guitar arpeggios and deep, full-front bass notes. What a simple but captivating and fluid lead! Then you're hit upside the head with the spoken voice of the amazing Jean-Marc Pisapia. He's got one of those voices that commands attention--no, worship! The journey this song takes one into--like a ride through the countryside in an opened-up convertible sports car--only we're driving behind the old Iron Curtain, say, in 1969 in Czechoslovakia. Joy ride, open air but ever on edge, ever hypervigilent. An amazing song with absolutely refreshing music and vocals, tempo and mood shifts, outstanding composition and musicianship. Prog music does not get better than this! EVER! Arabian musical influences sneak in at the 5:45 mark.

3. "L'eau, le lait, le vin . . . " (7/10) Lacks a little melody hook-line (perhaps the French lyrics are intended to be the true focus of this part of the song) before a sudden shift from light, whispery to heavy LED ZEPPELIN "In Through the Out Door" drumming at the 3:15 mark takes one by surprise--followed by a Canterbury sounding organ (Wurlitzer?) at the 4:30 mark. Fades out with street accordian.

4. "Mont St. Michel" (7/10) has a church feel to it--organ and chant-like harmonized vocals--before briefly shifting attention to piano. 4:30 sees a shift to a more acoustic prog orientation like MOON SAFARI, THE MOODY BLUES, BEACH BOYS, and early PETER GABRIEL. GENESIS-like heaviness beginning at the 7:10 mark brings a real mood shift to the song?especially with a great electric guitar solo with support passage. An interesting, entertaining song that would probably be rendered higher marks were I in on the lyrical content. (Future project: brush up on my old French.) Winds down with full PINK FLOYD sound à la "Eclipse."

5. "Le chat noir" (8/10) is a little ditty that starts and ends with SATIE-esque slow, jazzy, emotional solo piano. Nearly as interesting and unpredictable as the original works of the young master.

6. "Un unpénétrable mystère" (8/10) seems to feed off of the momentum of the previous song, beginning with treated piano chords and playful cymbol play before the poetic sing-speaking voice of M. Pisapia begins a upbeat monotone 'rap' over a rather jazzy, almost STYLE COUNCIL-like music. But watch out: these guys don't let you get bored or hypnotized; at 3:10 organ and true Gregorian chant-like choir takes over the singing of the lyrics. Then the sound drops out at 5:00 mark for a brief uncertainty before picking up the previous melodies on bass, b vox, and background upper register male voice. Then it stops, only to fade the last 30 seconds in a very trip hop way.

7. "À Bougival" (8/10) begins (and ends) with (what turns out to be) a constantly repeating four-note guitar arpeggios, two pairs of alternating piano chords and male voice before a kind of support soft-jazz combo joins in. This formula continues to cycle back and forth several times with the occasional rise and disappearance of near-Buddhist nasal voice intonations and a fully jazz- oriented section at about the 3:30 mark. Fascinating, unpredictable, and fresh!

8. "Sous hypnose" (7/10) introduces from the opening notes a harder, heavier side of THE BOX--again with a very LED ZEPPELIN foundation to it. Enter a harmonized lead vocal followed by a bridge of an (intentionally?) 'cheezy' organ solo, repeat formula, provide a different bridge to the electric (doubled, shadowed, or midied?) guitar solo, and you have a pretty standard rock constructed song. Until a C part begins at the 4:39 mark when you have wavering keyboard, jazz electric guitar solo and vocal "ha's" accompanying the eternally playful drummer's cymbol play. Return to beginning-style heaviness for outro.

9. "J'ai vu" (7/10) begins right where "sous hypnos" did: with another familiar-feeling LED ZEPPELIN "When the Levee Breaks"- like riff until it settles down to make way for repeating guitar arpeggios and harmonized 'spoken-sung' lead vocals. Heavy bass notes enter the play at the 3:00 minute mark as the piano gives us a little one-time jazz riff. Re-eneter the L ZEP riff at 5:00, this time with harmonized vocals accompanying/singing over to great effect?which only gets better as the song builds and progresses. The last 1:40 of the song play out in the sown-tempo 'B' mode.

10. "Super 61" (8/10) begins with female chorus reciting the title while a kind of BURT BACHARACH bassa nova back beat establishes itself. French-style vocal scatting familiar to all who heard Francis Lai's theme to the 1966 classic, "Un homme et une femme." In the Francis Lai traditioin, this is a pretty upbeat, light song with some catchy melodies (and perhaps lyrics!?).

Overall a delightful listening experience--one that is so different, so interesting and yet melodic and of superior construction, that I will come back many times to hear many more of the subtle shifts, instrument uses, and other nuances to be found herein. Excellent addition to any prog lovers music collection. 4.5 stars, really!

 All the Time, All the Time, All the Time by BOX, THE album cover Studio Album, 1985
4.15 | 18 ratings

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All the Time, All the Time, All the Time
The Box Crossover Prog

Review by Peter
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars The 1985 sophomore album from Quebec's The Box, like its predecessor, is a sparkling slice of engaging, intelligent 80s pop. This time around, Jean Marc and the boys have replaced the debut's drum machine with a real drummer, and the group's sound is thus more organic and "warm." Other than that change, ALL THE TIME, ALL THE TIME, ALL THE TIME is a perfect counterpart to the first album; the band used the same producer (Marc Durand) and the same evocative cover artist in Richard Hetu.

Once more, the songwriting is excellent, and a convincing cut or two above that of many of the Box's better-known 80s contemporaries. Keyboards and guitar dominate the overall sound, but the bass is also quite prominent, and combines with accomplished drumming for a rock- solid, danceable foundation. Jean Marc's vocals (sung in English, with a pleasing accent) are very likable -- he comes across as a regular guy; someone you'd like to have a beer and chat with. The lyrics are thoughtful, tight and often nostalgic, as they deal with the perennial themes of bygone romance, childhood wonder, and the seemingly unending tedium of schooldays which are yet missed. Every one of the eight songs is a keeper, but some are particularly good: my favourites include the haunting, atmospheric opener "Remnants," the wistful "And Say Goodbye," and the catchy "My Dreams of You" with its sing-along refrain. The absolute standout track, though, is also the longest at 5:53, and perhaps the "proggiest" piece here: "L'Affaire Dumoutier" recounts the story of a brutal murder, and the subsequent trial verdict of innocence by reason of insanity. The infectious music and a lovely lead break are neatly juxtaposed with the grisly subject matter; the result is a disquietingly beautiful, powerful song that you'll want to revisit many times.

The Box's ALL THE TIME (x 3) is a fine album that should easily appeal to fans of better-quality 80s pop, and well worth seeking out. I've been enjoying it for twenty-five years now -- you might say I listen to it ALL THE TIME. 3.49 stars.

 The Box by BOX, THE album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.87 | 18 ratings

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The Box
The Box Crossover Prog

Review by Peter
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Quebec's The Box's eponymous 1984 debut is by no means "progressive rock," but it is very likeable, often danceable and always intelligent. Keyboards, solid bass lines, a perhaps too-precise drum machine, and the thoughtful lyrics and winsome, Franco-everyman vocals of band leader Jean Marc are the mainstays, and make THE BOX an engaging slice of 80s pop which has aged very well.

Catchy, up-tempo songs such as "Weekend" and "Checkmate/Quand Le Roy" immediately caught my appreciative ears when I first heard them on Canadian public radio back in 1984, and I fondly return to them again and again, to this day. Other standout tracks include the poignant and lovely "War Going On," and "Walk Away," with its infectious guitar hook and lyrics of a weary office worker daydreaming wistfully of "an open field, in October, when the wind turns the sky to grey." "Great Summer Fair" is a haunting, nostalgic vignette from childhood, where the horses of a fair's merry-go-round "tortured by their slavery, condemned to run in circles" offer intimations of the regimented adult life that waits to stifle the wondering spirit of the child. (Jean Marc would revisit childhood and the loss of its innocence repeatedly is in his lyrics, a theme which will resonate with many adult listeners.)

THE BOX is a solid album of polished, feel-good 80s music that yet has considerable depth. It remains very dear to me. Music fans whose tastes extend to clever, well-crafted pop could do far worse than this fine disc. It's somewhere between quite good and excellent, and thus in the 3.25 - 3.49 star range.

 D'Après Le Horla De Maupassant by BOX, THE album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.17 | 50 ratings

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D'Après Le Horla De Maupassant
The Box Crossover Prog

Review by TheGazzardian
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The Box hail from Quebec, Canada. They were, apparently, more of a pop outfit in the '80s, but reformed in the '00s and released two albums that were closer to progressive rock, of which this is the second, and my first experience with them.

The opener, "Ouverture", starts off quiet, before it introduces a spacy section with distant "na na na na"s. Then the guitars and drums make a quick intro, before it changes again into what sounds, to my untrained ear, like an accordion. Ultimately, the song is about a simple theme, but the way that it is presented is quite excellent.

The second track, "Incubus", is built on atmosphere, but there is one instrument that makes a strong impact on me here - and that is the bass guitar. It makes its presence known, and even though I wouldn't call it a lead instrument, it does not hide in the background either. It makes its presence known throughout. The vocals are french, so for the non-french, the lyrics may not make much sense. Fortunately, the music is so good and the vocals work so well within it, that they enhance the sound regardless. The song builds up until the end, where horns have joined in and give the atmosphere some additional edge.

The strong bass work continues with "L'eau, Le Lait, Le Vin" (which, if my french is not too rusty, translates into "the water, the mlik, the wine"). The transition between the two songs is actually rather seamless. Like in the first track, The Box demonstrate their ability to craft a great musical piece around simpler ideas. Keyboards provide the texture for the first half of the song, but it's a punchy guitar riff and the vocals that carry the second half, aided by a good keyboard solo and some excellent drumming.

Mont Saint Michel continues the trend of combining atmosphere with great, catchy music, with an atmospheric first half that builds into a very, very catchy second half. The album continues to demonstrate, song after song, that The Box are masters of both atmosphere and writing catchy music. I would like to stress once more that the music is the strong point here, and not understanding the vocals does not make them sound in any way worse. (Although, from what I understand, the lyrical content of the album is also quite good - maybe it's time to learn french?)

The album ends on "Super 61", which is a bit more toned down than the rest of the album. I am not quite sure what "Super 61" is, but it is sung in English, in female vocals that do not exist anywhere else in the album, making me curious about their inclusion here.

Overall, a great album that is a delight to hear. There is not a weak track on the album. Stronger tracks include: "Souse Hypnose", "L'eau, Le Lait, Le Vin", "Incubus", "Super 61", "Mont St. Michel" and "Un impenetrable Mystere" (over half the album!). Highly recommended.

 D'Après Le Horla De Maupassant by BOX, THE album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.17 | 50 ratings

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D'Après Le Horla De Maupassant
The Box Crossover Prog

Review by yalinc

5 stars This is the second opus of musicians from Quebec after their reunion. Formed a new line-up in 2003, keyboardist and vocalist Jean-Marc Pisapia recorded a very interesting album, "Black Dog There" (2005). And four years later a new release - a musical adaptation of short stories by Guy de Maupassant's "Orla". Follow the tradition of the Quebec music rock scene, the vocal parts performed in French (all previous albums were in English). In my opinion - this is one of the best examples of modern recent rock. Amazing work, which is able to please hungry music lovers who are tired of tedious and monotonous modern progressive opuses. Ten tracks very accurately convey the inner world of a man who is mentally ill, suffering from 'persecution mania'. All tracks are sustained in darkened colors, except the last track, having played in the rhythm of bossa nova and decorated with female backing vocals from Isabelle Lemay. The main advantage of the album is a bright and clear melodic line, beautiful, often dominant instrumental array. The singing is a very peculiar feature: Pisapia's diet vocal is almost not leading, but soon split up in semitones, often pleasing layouts rumor sounds a lot like the experiments of 10CC. The very manner of performance reminiscent of the French proggers of mid 70's (such as Ange), when the singing is often replaced by a recitative music. But here are all very worthy and not a characteristic strain, although where necessary, Jean-Marc sings in full voice. Structurally the songs are similar, but not tiring only because the musicians each time find new colors in the arrangement, in the solo passages of instruments and in the checked lengths. Very interesting drummer is that Martin Lapierre. Imo, his drumming is perfect, like aerobatics, when he is not to set any virtuoso solos, but plays trying to fit organically into the overall tone. ANd that nearly infernal synth reef in Incubus had struck me, of course, it's a brilliant find! I also can point the track L'Eau, Le Lait, Le Vin, this sinister theme is based on the contrast between anxious and confused with the entry of angels singing ( "water"), anxious and full of pain nerves in the apocalyptic voice of the second part ( "milk") and gentle codes under accordion ( "wine"). I strongly recommend this album, in particular fans of Genesis, Van Der Graaf Generator. Enjoy!
 D'Après Le Horla De Maupassant by BOX, THE album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.17 | 50 ratings

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D'Après Le Horla De Maupassant
The Box Crossover Prog

Review by pollux

4 stars Wow! Long gone are the "poppy days" This album show a rare maturity for a band of this kind of background. Their latest opus ranks as a very solid prog-rock album, a contender for a Best of 2009 list...at least mine. I discovered the band under a new light. The beautiful and haunting melodies could easily feature on a lot of classic prog albums. The narration "effect" also hightens the overall quality and impact of this disc. The stories inspired by Guy De Maupassant novels kept me listening attentively through the tracks...a lot more than usual I should add as I have a tendency to tune out every now and then when the lyrics get weaker. Far from it with this one! Overall a strong 4.25 stars for this great record. I wouldn't call it flawless but i have not found a weak track yet.
 D'Après Le Horla De Maupassant by BOX, THE album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.17 | 50 ratings

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D'Après Le Horla De Maupassant
The Box Crossover Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars So new album and already stained by controversy over two previous reviews. I'm pleased, but not so much. This is typical, better-average (feel free to add " " chars) French speaking prog rock (I'm still unable to differ French and Canada, anyone willing to help me what's the difference in music they make ?). Full of calm parts (even silence from time to time), longer compositions, not necessarily melodic, but also not ugly music. Original ? I say yes, but it lacks this "interesting" element.

4(-), because less would be unfair (in contrast to my other ratings) and more is undeserved by my opinion. And you know what, I understand gooner and if Mr. Sonix Explorer wouldn't insult (yeah, it's insult by standarts of my and this site), I would understand his point of view too.

My heart & mind lies here, in this state. To be honest, I'm not so moved, I heard far better records this year, but this is not a cat-as-trophe (hehe).

 D'Après Le Horla De Maupassant by BOX, THE album cover Studio Album, 2009
4.17 | 50 ratings

BUY
D'Après Le Horla De Maupassant
The Box Crossover Prog

Review by Gooner
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Talk about a late bloomer. I'll get my noble statement out of the way right off the bat. This 2009 album _D'Apres Le Horla De Maupassant_ by The Box, IMHO, is a prime contender for the best prog.rock album of the decade(2000-2009). Yes...and I've heard a lot of them (since I host a radio programme). On par with anything from Porcupine Tree, the newly reformed Van Der Graaf Generator and the popular Nemo. One word to describe this millenium masterpiece is _sprawling_. Another would be _moody_.

Elements of Yes, Van Der Graaf Generator, King Crimson, Barclay James Harvest, quartet- era Genesis, Talk Talk, Brian Wilson, Bark Psychosis, Nemo, Ange, Steve Morse-era Deep Purple. All the aforementioned are tossed together into the unique world of Jean-Marc Pisapia's THE BOX. This sounds like THE BOX and no one else. The aforementioned are simply inspiration. Quebec prog.rock such as Morse Code and Pollen may also be an inspiration, but that's for Jean-Marc Pisapia to know, and for you or I to find out.

The intro of the album might remind you of the ethereal space intro of ELP's Tarkus. When this ensemble breaks out instrumentally, it's a cross between Genesis, Van Der Graaf Generator and modern Deep Purple. When the guitarist solos, he sounds not unlike Steve Morse at his crying best. The heavy parts do not approach prog.metal, but hard rock prog.. Very unlike Porcupine Tree where they appear to be hanging out with Opeth a little too much (which I find somewhat irritating). In short, the instrumental parts sound like Van Der Graaf Generator recruiting Don Airey and Steve Morse while getting Tim Friese-Green(of Talk Talk) to make sense of it all.

Mel Collins/Jaxon-like sax appears slightly on one track(Incubus). There's a wonderful reoccuring sinister sounding keyboard riff that just sends you like a mellotron would. Back-up vocals are very pastoral and angelic(like a mixture of Barclay James Harvest/Brian Wilson/Porcupine Tree). All lyrics and vocals in French, but Jean-Marc Pisapia's delivery is very enjoyable in a borderline baritone/tenor. _Chat Noir_ reminds me of the instrumental piece by Curved Air called PARIS BY NIGHT. _Inpenetrable Mystere_ has a that unique The Box droaning keyboard sound from their very first self-titled album. If that's not all, in comes the Latin(yes, LATIN chant!). _Sans Hypnose_ has a Captain Beyond groove with Kerry Minnear(Gentle Giant)-like keyboards, although the solo is very Tony Kaye(Yes, Badger). _J'ai Vu_ is reminiscent of Zeppelin II meets Talk Talk(wow!). Nice reverbed piano. This album could be a great companion to Marillion's BRAVE(turn the lights out and turn it up). The only track that harkens back to The Box's early pop.prog is the closer _Super 61_. Not quite prog., but not quite New Wave either. A track that French band AIR would be proud of. It sounds like AIR meets Matthew Fisher of Procol Harum and Jobim(brazillian beat) and Bacharach. Pure magic!

This album is not likely to make Jean-Marc Pisapia a rich man, but it may make him a hired gun in prog.rock for production values alone. Truly groundbreaking. 5 solid stars.

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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