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Boff, Jean Pascal: La Boite a Musique

One of France's finest progressive rock guitarists, this album sees him engage in a simpler acoustic framework with a collection of 12 instrumental compositions not far adrift from some of Steve Hackett's 80's acoustic work. JPB was the first artist signed by Musea when they started in 1985 and has appeared with a number of bands as well as releasing numerous solo albums, among the best of which is probably his 1987 release, Carillions.

La Boite a Musique is an exquisitely produced album with a crystalline quality to the guitar picking, no more so than on the lyrical opening track. When keyboard loops are employed the arrangements can almost take you back to the whimsical numbers of early Genesis or Anthony Phillips songs such as the Geese and the Ghost or Harlequin (JPB is perhaps mindful of this in his choice of title – the Musical Box, although it's more likely a nod to his support slot for the acclaimed tribute band in the Paris leg of their 2007 tour). There's certainly a touch of Hackett-like sustain in the background to the closing part of the eight and a half minute title track. "La Ballerina" is the other piece which carries the musical box theme and features a delicate ebb and flow which evokes the classical style of the 18th century toy.

Outside the Genesis nods though, this album is predominantly a set of warm and intimate six string acoustic guitar pieces which you could cosy up to, with a nice cup of cocoa beside the fire on a cold winter's night, with your partner. Tasteful throughout, the themes evoke melancholy (as in "Le Sculpteur de sable") and nostalgia in as much as they reflect the happier reflections of songs such as "Graine de Beaute". A very pleasing collection.

Track Listing
1. Un Pont Sur L'Infini
2. L'Horloge Suspendue
3. La Boîte A Musique
4. A Gift
5. La Ballerine
6. Lullaby Road
7. De L'Autre Côté Du Vent
8. Graines De Beauté
9. Fleurs Nocturnes
10. Le Sculpteur De Sable
11. Quiet Christmas
12. La Boîte De Pandore

Added: August 4th 2008
Reviewer: Richard Barnes
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 1614
Language: english

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