La Tulipe Noire

Faded Leaves

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Greek neo-proggers La Tulipe Noire seem to be refining their music while at the same time sinking in the moving sands of their clichés. In short, their songs don't grow any more original but they get better, thanks to more care in the arrangements and the voice of Ima, improving with time. Neo-prog has its fans and detractors; Faded Leaves will not have anyone changing sides. Most of these nine pieces have medium tempi, eighth-notes keyboard motifs, Pink Floyd-esque guitar solos, and theatrical melodies. La Tulipe Noire play the pathos card a bit too often. Lyrics are solely focused on loneliness, lost love, and the untruthfulness of human relationships. The whole thing never escapes its dark, bleak, and hopelessly adolescent mood. Ima does her best to give life to these words, and she succeeds only in part. Hyde and Alix, the songwriting team of this group, occasionally try too hard. In "Castle on the Sand" they had a good melody but cluttered it with too many words. "Le Fond du Ciel" stands out: faster tempo, different atmosphere, something to get excited rather than depressed about. Marillion and IQ's combined influences are still palpable but better integrated, while White Willow and Landberk seem to have supplied inspiration for topics and moods. Faded Leaves is well done (especially when it comes to musicianship) but not remarkable.

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