Rousseau - "At The Cinema"
Rousseau, qui refait parler de lui après 14 ans de silence discographique, est un groupe terriblement attachant. Voilà une opinion très largement partagée et répandue dans le microcosme progressif. Ce retour, tout autant sympathique et touchant soit-il, ne doit néanmoins pas masquer le fait que le groupe allemand n'offre plus tout à fait la même musique qu'à ses débuts. Les 14 compositions de «At The Cinema» (majoritairement instrumentales) développent certes encore et toujours une délicate musique symphonique, tout à la fois limpide et romantique, mais ont bien du mal à se parer de thèmes mélodiques mémorables... Le symphonisme altier de ce quatrième album-studio s'écoule donc sans à-coups (ce qui n'est déjà pas si mal !), et s'adresse (outre les adeptes invétérés, et ils sont nombreux, de Rousseau) en priorité à ceux qui ne voient pas dans l'étiquette «progressive» une signification et une exigence littérales...
Rousseau - "At The Cinema" (Musea - 2002)
No, this is not a French band, but a German one, which released three albums in the eighties (“Flower In Asphalt”, “Retreat” and “Square The Circle”). After 14 years without releasing any new product, the band is now back with a collection of 14 songs, called “At The Cinema”. I don’t know who was part of the band in the 80s, but nowadays Rousseau consists of Jörg Schwarz (guitars & vocals), Rainer Hofmann (piano & keys), Dieter Beermann (bass) & Ali Pfeffer (drums & percussion) and together they form a tight unit, performing a mixture of vocal and instrumental tracks. To be honest, I didn’t expect such a high quality! Schwarz sings really good (without a German accent!) and the compositions as well as the production are superb. So, together with the Pink Floyd tribute, this is one of the best albums Musea has released so far this year. If you’re looking for a band that mixes progressive rock with melodic rock, then look no further as Rousseau is delivering the goods in a great way. Highly recommended!
(review by CL - added on 12/12/2002)
Rousseau - "At The Cinema" (Musea - 2002)
By Sergio Motta - BRAZIL
After being absent from progressive rock scene for long years, the stunning and unforgettable german progressive rock band Rousseau is back, and to consolidade their return, a brand new CD is now out, and as it happened to all of their previous releases, this new CD whose title is ‘’At The Cinema’’ was issued once again by the peerless french label Muséa. The CD consists of 14 very fine songs, some purely instrumental while others delightfully reach the listeners’ ear through gorgeous vocals by Jörg Schwarz who besides playing the acoustic & electric guitars, also decided to lead vocals. The CD also features the veteran musicians Ali Pfeffer on the drums and Rainer Hofmann on the keyboards whose talent has loyally been present since they debuted with ‘’Flower in Asphalt’’ album far back in 1978. A new and skilful member is likewise taking part in the band, and his knack can be promptly checked out upon the new CD, his name is Dieter Beermann, a gifted bass player who will surely help the band on the accomplishment of other remarkable musical projects henceforth. And for those who have already had the chance of listening to previous releases from Rousseau, I’d surely say this new CD still keeps the very old essence of the band, that is, creating songs that speak straight to the heart; and such as it came about in the past, this new work is also entirely able to produce subtle themes, always joining talent and sentiment; beauty and good taste. For getting such an affinity with this new work, I’d not like to quote any highlight because I have really appreciated all the songs by and large. I’d just like to say that I’m joyous to see the time was not able to erase the stunning characteristics of the band, so most of them could be appreciated again. So if you have lately been looking for something, which help you warm up your heart and to see how marvelous life is, I’d then say that you have now found it! Oh yes, still concerning the instrumental fertility of this new CD, it is worth mentioning the band creatively decided to add to their music, instruments as oboe, viola and accordion, which were sublimely performad by some guest musicians, so it all surely makes this CD one of the best releases of the year. Remember Rousseau was absent from progressive scene for ages, so now you cannot miss the oportunity of checking their current energy and also their rich musicality of course. ‘’At The Cinema’’ is highly recomended.
By Tommy's Forest of Progressive Rock
Rousseau - "Flower in Asphalt" (1980)
German progressive with a quite strong Camel-influence. This was their first album, and it's totally instrumental. The tracks are dominated by relaxed and melodious flute very reminiscent of Andy Latimer. There's also a lot of good organ and guitar here. But it's not only Camel these guys have listened to. The riff in the mid-part of "Dancing Leaves" is pure Genesis. "Le Grand Reveur" and "Entree" are both very relaxed and atmospheric tracks with lot of nice flute. "Skylight" has some quite symphonic passages and sounds like a mix of Camel and Genesis, just like "Dancing Leaves". "Glockenrock" is a more cheerful and Latin-inspired track. My only complaints about this album is a total lack of originality, and the band's synth sound was unfortunately very plastic-sounding (after all, we had entered the 80's here!). But if you like Camel and Genesis then you'll probably think this is an acceptable album.
By Jame's Home page
Rousseau - "Flower In Asphalt", 1979, Musea Records, Germany (35 Mins)
Rousseau's debut album is an absolute stunning piece of classic progressive rock. Without a question, Rousseau's music draws heavily on the work of CAMEL but is not simply an imitation. Rousseau blends intoxicating symphonic keyboard & flute passages with gentle melodies and some highly crafted musicianship. Rousseau were formed back in 1978 and "Flower In Asphalt" represents their debut release which was totally instrumental (vocals were pursued in their later music). "Flower In Asphalt" evokes images of romanticism and nostalgia throughout and creates some simply beautiful musical moments. A pure instrumental album with great charm and soft emotion.
Progressive records, San Francisco, USA
Flower in asphalt, A beautiful album recordet in 1979 by the west german prog-rock band "Rousseau". Free lowing guitar and flute leads, accompained by snthesizers and drums create this instrumental work of art.
Tip Magazin, Berlin, Germany: Flower in Asphalt
Im Vordergrund, äußerst leichtfüßige Melodiebögen, denen jeglicher Bombasmus fremd ist. Ein Zeichen für musikalisches Verständniß - und gleichzeitig ein Beispiel für Eloy und Konsorten.
Audion by Allan Freeman, England: Flower in Asphalt
Generally relaxed and very warmly melodic, all the compositions are excellently arranged and fronted with beautiful flute or guitar. Undoubtely a fine album of instrumental rock, that will delight most prog-rock collectors.
Terran Harvest, Denver, USA
Rousseau: The leading German band combining acoustic and electric sound into a superb, unique sound. Probably the best to come from Germany.
Eurock, Oregon, USA
Rousseau is a new discovery from Germany who have produced three of the best keyboard rock albums I´ve heared in a long while. The arrangements are sophisticated and the production crisp and clear. The albums are predominantely instrumental and very modern, not something that sounds like a throwback to the 70´s.
Progressions, San Francisco, USA, Dean Suzuki
Their progressive rock instrumentals are among the best of its kind and it´s nice to have this reissue of their first album, originally released in 1980. Hailing from Germany, this quintet features lots of keyboards, including piano, Hammond organ,synthesizers and, for the delight of nostalgic progsters, mellotron, along with guitar, bass, fute and drums. In fact, anyone looking only for virtuosic displays will probably come away dissapointed, but those who seek delicious, enchanting and otherwise satisfying music need look no further tha Flower in asphalt.
Background, The Netherlands, Jan Schoenemakers
There is a perfect profiguration of the dream like atmospheres on these albums. Although the music is close to Camel, Rousseau have their own style. Their music is a combination of the serene flight of the flute, delicate guitar chords anf lyrical keyboard parts. All together, Rousseau plays very sophisticated rock that invites the listener to enter their musical world. I think, Musea made the right decision to re-issiue these beautiful albums on CD. If you like refined progressive rock, then these albums are a must for you.
By Babyblaue Seiten - In German
besprochen: "Flower In Asphalt"
Pfeffer - Drums, Percussion