Morse Code

D'un Autre Monde

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In the early '90s, Capitol released a CD compilation of Morse Code's three classic mid-'70s LPs. Encouraged by the sales and by the rise of a new underground progressive rock scene in Quebec, original members Christian Simard (vocals, keyboards), Michel Vallée (bass), and Daniel Lemay (guitars) re-formed the group, replacing drummer Raymond Roy with Simard's son and adding a second keyboardist, Marc Laperle. Now a quintet, Morse Code recorded D'un Autre Monde, which comes through like a compromise between the group's legendary prog sound and the straightforward rock, much less successful 1983 LP Code Breaker. Considering the time elapsed, the group did a good job: most of these art rock songs still show Simard's talent for gripping melodies. His voice has not deteriorated. But the group falls into the neo-prog pit, trying to be more commercial or accessible than what it was remembered for. "Casino," "La Terre Cesse pas de Tourner," and "Le Sourire" are immediately forgettable. "On Nait d'un Autre Monde," "Le Soldat," and "Au Pays des Géants" will bring a warm smile to the face of old fans. The album yielded a minor campus radio hit in "Le Fils du Grand Dragon," a medieval '70s-flavored acoustic piece closer to Harmonium or Malicorne than vintage Morse Code. Definitely worth hearing is "Piano," surprisingly strong and inspired, one of the best prog songs Simard wrote. Overall, D'un Autre Monde sounds exactly like '90s Ange. It is a mildly interesting epilogue to the group's career, but nothing more. Sadly, it is the group's only complete album available on CD. Newcomers should start with the best-of Les Grands Succès de Morse Code.

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