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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Patrick Broguière

A Secret World

Review by Gary Hill

This is the latest album from French artist Patrick Broguière. The music is definitely progressive rock, but perhaps not always a completely tight fit. There are parts of this that feel more electronic. Some of it has a lot of classical angle at play. Yet we get more mainstream prog stuff, too. Most of this is instrumental, but a few tracks have vocals. That said, none of those vocals are in English. Call this what you like, but it's definitely unique and intriguing.

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Track by Track Review
A Secret World
This jumps right into it with a jam that feels like one part ELP and one part Kansas. The keyboards take control after a time, and at points it makes me think of Yes just a little. The track continues to evolve, and we get a drop back to a bit of a down-home feel for an intricate and mellower motif. Piano becomes the dominant instrument for a time later. Some unusual vocals, feeling rather classical in nature, are added to the mix. Eventually we're brought back out to a reprise of the opening prog rock jam. That section serves as the extended outro.
The Blue Unicorn
Melodic and rather mainstream prog rock with plenty of keyboards in the mix is the order of business here. This is more focused and less exploratory than the opener was. It's no less classy or interesting, though.
Just over half-a-minute long, this is a piano solo.
King Arthur's March
Bouncy keyboards get us underway here. An electronic sounding percussion element joins. The arrangement fills out into another mainstream prog styled jam. I can make out hints of both Rick Wakeman and The Buggles on this piece. This instrumental goes through a number of twists and turns. It has some synthetic non-lyrical vocals in the mix at times.
In the Corridor
This is an intriguing groove. It has plenty of almost Wakeman-like prog built into it. It also features some decidedly classical music in some of the over-layers of sound. It gets rocking out at points, too. This is a powerhouse tune that is among the most effective of the disc. It's dynamic and powerful.
21st Century Dancing Man
I really dig the electronic meets prog instrumental groove on this. The track has some opera vocals. This reminds me of Enigma in some ways. There are some vocals that are less operatic later, but they don't appear to be in English. This has a cool dance vibe to it, but you probably got that from the title.
The Magical Path
I really dig the keyboard elements here. This calls to mind a mix of Wakeman and Emerson Lake and Powell to me.
Out of Time
Just a little over a minute long, this is acoustic guitar is at the heart of this.
In My Dreams
Picked guitar gets us going here. Violin comes over the top. The introduction has some mellow drama. The cut works out from there to more of a mainstream melodic prog rock jam. Non-lyrical female vocals come in after the halfway mark. Chorale vocals join in the background a little further down the road. This keeps evolving and growing.
Faust and Mephisto

Classical music is on the menu here, but delivered with some more modern angles. I can definitely make out some "Bolero" on this, but there are probably other pieces referenced that I missed. I really love when it drops to just piano. Then a female vocal gracefully soars over the top with non-English lyrics. There are some chorale vocals in the mix on this at times, too. This is very much art music and continues onward with a real focus on that classical music angle.

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