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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Craig McConnell

Dessine-Moi Une Ligne Soundtrack

Review by Gary Hill

Craig McConnell is a progressive rock musician and this release is his music for the film Dessine-Moi Une Ligne. As with most soundtracks, this is nearly all instrumental. In fact, unless you count the non-lyrical vocals that occasionally show up, it’s all instrumental. This is a cool disc and more listenable than many soundtrack albums. It’s also shown me that McConnell is someone I want to keep an eye on. His music is strong.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 3 at

Track by Track Review
Heat of Nature – Part One
Pretty, ambient tones rise up. This is grown for a time until a dramatic crash is heard. Then the music begins to more closely resemble classical music. Still, the ambient keyboard tones remain. A guitar cries out and then begins to soar slowly and gracefully over the top. It grows as a thing of beauty until it crescendos.
Heat of Nature – Part Two
This comes in with a harder edge, but still carries a lot of the textures of the previous piece. Washes of keyboard textures wave across and some of this has classical leanings. It’s a powerful prog rock instrumental. It takes on some sounds that feel quite close to some of UK’s music to this reviewer. The ambient section that takes it for a while reminds me of some of the music from the 2001: A Space Odyssey soundtrack. We get some non-lyrical voices like angels for a time but then a shift back to sound effects ends it.
Fields of Air
This pretty balladic piece reminds me a bit of something that might have come from Rick Wakeman’s solo catalog/ The female vocals that come across later have a bit of an operatic air, but not enough to be overpowering. Those who have followed my reviews will no I have a general distaste for opera – and these vocals don’t turn me off. This has some wonderful melody lines as it carries on in instrumental fashion.
Ride the Abyss
Ambience starts things off here. As the keyboards first rise up it feels a bit like Vangelis to me. The quiet is interrupted by a classical music styled crash and then we are back into textural territory to carry forward. This piece is quite brief and never rises back up from there.
This pretty and sedate song has a definite jazz texture.

High Velocity
Ambient elements that again make me think of 2001 start this. From there it powers out into one of the harder rocking pieces on show here. This is a great tune and one of my favorites on the set. At times the overlayers remind me a bit of Hall of the Mountain Grill era Hawkwind.
Snows of Silence
Dramatic, rather symphonic textures lead this off and hold it for the first half or so. Then it drops way back to a mellower rendition of its central musical themes.

The Fine Line – Part One
This is a considerably sedate keyboard based instrumental. It’s quite pretty and powers up for one brief section at the end.
Le Chant Des Sirénes
Noise and more of those 2001 elements start things here. Eventually this gives way to a gentle and quite pretty musical motif. Those nearly operatic vocals join after a time. At around the three minute mark it powers up in a dramatic symphonic way, but then quickly drops back down to carry forward in a similar fashion to the stylings that made up the ride thus far. Sound effects join the melody already in progress after a time.
The Fine Line – Part Two
Things start off texturally here. After a time it works out to a more powered up balladic motif, but before it’s over it cranks out into some real rock music.

Rhythm of Life
Percussive in nature, this is very much a tribal piece – right down to the non-lyrical (well if they are lyrics they aren’t in English) vocals for the first half. As bass enters later it takes on more of a jazz and funky feel. The vocals return amidst this more energized backdrop later and the whole thing is built upon. This is quite a cool groove and a nice change of pace, but it feels like it overstays its welcome to me.
Nanad Devi
This gentle number is mostly atmospheric and has some Native American textures. It turns more powerful about midpoint, just by upping the ante on the volume and intensity. It resets to the mellower before it is taken to its conclusion.
Geraldine & Sebastien
Beginning with sedate, textural keyboards a burst of sound heralds a change over. The number becomes another that’s rather tribal like “Rhythm of Life.” When female vocals come over the top I’m reminded of Enigma quite a bit. We get a cool electric guitar solo on this one. I’d have to chalk this up as one of my favorites from the disc.
Guitar Sunset
An electric guitar – with keys as accompaniment – solo, this feels like Pink Floyd to me. It’s a great way to end the disc and one of the strongest cuts here.
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