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Lalu: The Fish Who Wanted To Be King
Lalu - The Fish Who Wanted To Be King Album Art

Lalu: The Fish Who Wanted To Be King

Melodic Progressive Rock
4.5/5.0

On the heels of the successful third album, Paint The Sky, French composer and keyboard player Vivien Lalu returns with his fourth long player, The Fish Who Wanted To Be King. While the previous album guested a host of international prog luminaries, Lalu has regionalized his latest project with established European musicians: Jelly Cardarelli, also from France, on drums; Joop Wolters on guitar and Matt Daniel on keyboards, both from the Netherlands. Fine English singer-songwriter Damian Wilson (ex-Threshold, et al) returns to the microphone.

Vivien Lalu - Click For Larger Image

Vivien Lalu

Lalu also returns to his signature melodic progressive rock compositions wherein his keyboard work becomes the foundation. You could say the keyboard presence is doubled with the addition of Matt Daniel. Indeed, the piano and synth play significant part, not mere embellishment, but with texture, atmosphere, definitive solos and, quite importantly, establishing the song melody.


EThis is self-evident across the entire album, yet quite notable within Forever Digital, Deoxyribonucleic Acid (aka DNA), and especially the instrumental, A Reversal Of Fortune. But that song also displays the terrific drum work of Jelly Cardarelli and spry guitar lines of Joop Wolters. Wolters can have something Gilmour-esque style to his playing, which makes me sit up and take interest. But, he definitely has his own timber and technique. Diving a bit deeper ...

The Fish Who Wanted To Be King at 11 minutes and Amnesia 1916 at 14 minutes are the expansive (and expected) arrangements of splendid prog wonkery. All musicians contribute as Wilson wander here and yon above the music. You'll moments neo-classical prog rubbing shoulders with jazz and rock fusion. The songs will remind of peers such as Yes and Genesis (early), Dream Theater and Transatlantic, perhaps some Flower Kings and even a modicum of Arjen Lucassen.

Alternatively, and perhaps trying to be more accessible, perhaps more rock, there's Is That A London Number. It turns more upon the riffs and rhythm section than keyboards, which allows Wolters to have a greater presence.

All in all, Vivien Lalu's latest album, The Fish Who Wanted To Be King, is another fine album of classic and experimental melodic progressive rock for the modern world. Lalu's compositions tap into the past while having a foot firmly in the prog presence and future. Easily recommended.




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The Take Away

Vivien Lalu's latest album, The Fish Who Wanted To Be King, is another fine album of classic and experimental melodic progressive rock for the modern world. Lalu's compositions tap into the past while having a foot firmly in the prog presence and future. Easily recommended.

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