Do The Music 4. Otis Ending 5. I Must Return 6. Elephas Levi 7. I imagine a lot of fans switching off at this point, but the album is worth sticking with. The album is really lifted by a Renee Garber composition, Eliphas Levi, which starts and ends with some beautiful flute and is largely built around piano and massed voices. The cast of thousands, and the absence of any of the core MAGMA players aside from Christian and Stella Vander, make this seem like more of a solo project than a proper Zeuhl album.
Persevere with the 80s production values, though, and there is plenty that is worthwhile on "Merci". The result is indescribably weird! Not necessarily in a good way, though. I really can't think where Vander's head was at when he instigated this album. Legit Lady (Long Version) - Nikki & Sparkle - Legit Lady he thought it would be a more "commercial" venture then he failed.
Pop fans would definitely be put off by the dark tone and weird singing on this album. The more conventional musical constructs and very 80's touches like drum-machines are bound to turn off Magma's hard-core fan-base.
Really, the only ones I can recommend this to are hard-line completists and the perversely curious. As it is, indeed, pretty perverse! A definite oddity. Side one has a lot of a funky danceable songs to its dubious credit, and it has to be said that they're very well made allowing that you can forgive the drum machine and poppy - they could probably chart if they were sung in a language originating on Earth.
If you couldn't stand "Spiritual" from the previous album, then turn away now. In fact, most of side two is equally goofy. Apologies for being harsh when other reviewers seem to have derived more from "Merci" than me, but Garber's composition should be the deciding factor on whether you purchase this accursed disc, because everything else contained on it makes the angel of light weep. Do Call From The Dark - Magma - Christian Vander - Merci 1.
Elephas Levi 4. De Futura 5. The Last Seven Minutes - to generate a perfectly listenable "new" Magma album Deutschland - Leon Boden Und Bernd Klinzmann - Tucholsky In Rock lasts about three quarters of an hour, hopefully mollifying your anger over spending so much money.
Call From The Dark - Magma - Christian Vander - Merci what I did. Maybe you could call the thing "Theusz Laplace". Well, um? There's a lot to say about this one and yet, not much at all.
Perhaps one of the most hated albums of all time by fans and anyone who has ever heard it, Merci is infamous French-mutant-jazzers Magma's attempt to pioneer a more viable ground for the subgenre of music, Zeuhl, that they had founded in the Christian Méry - On Nest Pas Chauvin. This would be an impossible task in hindsight, being that any Zeuhl will, and always has been, a very, very, very acquired taste - a subgenre where the majority of the sane population proggers, of course, exempt will laugh at hearing the best of the best of the albums to come from this scene if they don't understand the purpose of it.
All things aside, Merci is like the lovechild of Magma and Abba when the two of them were piss drunk at a rave one night and decided to get at it without protection. Of course, Abba did a lot of drugs during the pregnancy. When the baby was finally born in it was this - the bloody mash-up of Zeuhl and disco which vomits all over itself whimpering, ''please kill me? Right off the bat from the faux-oriental strings of Call From The Dark Ooh Ooh Baby yes - a band who sings in a made up language from another planet called the opening track Ooh Ooh Baby the band trips over its own horn section and attempts to get on its way.
Now we all have to admit something before we continue - as disgusting as it is - this album can be terribly catchy. Somehow, in some way, listening Call From The Dark - Magma - Christian Vander - Merci Vander sing soft sections meant to seduce some kind of deaf woman on Otis or the Meatloaf -esque sections of I Must Return are actually rather amusing, and may actually prompt you to listen to the album a couple more times before your make your final judgment on it - hating yourself and crying a silent tear the entire way, of course.
Musically, compositionally, this is nothing like the Magma of yore, which is probably the only reason why they have fans in the first place. People seem to like that tense atmosphere and the whimsy of the chanting sections, or the Call From The Dark - Magma - Christian Vander - Merci playing on the previous records that makes one wonder how a band were Call From The Dark - Magma - Christian Vander - Merci capable of playing so well.
Merci is not like it - it's the bubble-gum pop of the progressive world, right up there with Big Generator and Love Beach - worse, perhaps. The sole song worth saving on here, as others have mentioned, also happens to be the longest piece.
Still, Eliphas Levi is worth listening to at least once or twice for the hardened Magma fan, since its atmosphere is actually somehow as tense as it was on MDK - but still, it's no crowning achievement.
Overall, a good album if you're into very strange disco? However, since it comes with the newly released Studio ZundI still recommend that fans take a listen to better appreciate Magma's classic works, and maybe get a cheap laugh. The shock experience starts with Call From The Dark. A track sung in English, with disco drum machines instead of real-live drums and poppy soul songwriting.
And guess what? It is an excellent track. The musical expertise of this Magma line-up proves to be still strong enough to pull this kind of groovy pop off. Especially the vocals are Call From The Dark - Magma - Christian Vander - Merciif you like powerful female soul vocals of course. Otis is more relaxed R'n'B, sung in French. A couple of harmonies and some vocal weirdness still reminds us this might be Magma indeed, the music won't.
This one isn't my cup of tea as much as the opener but it's a good poppy soul track, not blatantly commercial or too cheesy. Do The Music is a strange hybrid of shameless 70's disco and Magma's funk-inspired traits as known from Attahk. I can't say the marriage works really well. Eliphas Levi is a more experimental track with a pulsating atmospheric drone created by soft bass and piano playing. Harmonic minimalist vocals are added. I'd say most Philip Glass fans and 'normal' Magma fans Call From The Dark - Magma - Christian Vander - Merci like this track.
I must say I've been pleasantly surprised by this album. Of course, 25 years Maid In Heaven - Be-Bop Deluxe* - Maid In Heaven stubbornly not wanting to listen to it might have lowered my expectations quite a bit.
Still, this shouldn't have been released under the Magma banner. Apart from the last track, nothing has got anything to do with the Magma you know. I don't think it's a bad album though; it's just that with its obvious tribute to soul, disco and funk, it's exactly the type of thing most prog fans won't like at all.
But let's listen to it without thinking that they are the Magma. Is it still so bad? If you are, the odds are good that you've heard rumors of how bad this album is and have kept your distance. Well, the rumors are all too true. This album is the unfortunate result of "Magma, Phase II" that was announced with the release of their previous studio album Attahk.
It attempts to break Magma into the pop scene, and falls completely on its face. What does it sound like? The album begins with some cheesy synthesizer, a drum machine, and Stella Vander singing "Ooh ooh baby. With all of the amazing music that Magma has created in the past, I still cannot believe how low they sunk with this album. There is nothing even remotely interesting here. They could have taken the Magma vibe and added pop elements to it to make something at least somewhat interesting.
With Merci, Magma disconnected completely with all of the elements that made them great in the past. They ended up with an album that was a failure in all ways: too weird and uninspired to be pop, and too weird and uninspired to be Zeuhl. I couldn't disagree more with the previous review. Yes it's Unnoticed - Until June - Until June to listen to than any previous album.
So what? It's his best production value to this day. The sound is crystal clear and it highlights the vocal and arrangements work of the Band. Check the brass section and also the drums yes, the drums, no matter what says the previous review : they're all very good. Vander wanted to change his musical direction : I think he succeeded. See all 2 customer reviews. Write a customer review.
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Audio CD, Import, March 15, Call from the dark Call from the dark. Otis Otis. Do the music Do the music. Wauw - Unknown Artist - 100 Discotheek Jingles ending Otis ending.
I must return I must return. They also feature complex choral arrangements with both male and female vocals, and Soprano and Gravel is not an unheard of trope. The Julian - Alexis Cole Sings Pepper Adams - I Carry Your Heart also has a huge Call From The Dark - Magma - Christian Vander - Merci of offshoots.
Former and current members such Flip Flap - Various - Mega 80 Jannick Top and Christian Vander have gone onto successful solo careers, while spinoff bands include Offering, Weidorje, and Zao. More information, as usual, can be found on That Other Wiki here.
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