Morse Code


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After the critical success harvested by La Marche des Hommes, Morse Code kept the same team of collaborators to record the follow-up, Procréation, truly a masterpiece of Quebec progressive rock. One exception: lyricist Chantal Dussault was replaced by Jean Robitaille. The previous album was already an impressive opus; Procréation added ambition, grandiose, and managed to be exempt of any weak tracks. Side one begins with "Précréation," an instrumental piece hinting at the themes developed on side two. "Qu'est-Ce T'es V'nu Faire Ici" (What Are You Doing Here?) is the closest the group gets to the sound of La Marche des Hommes: complex, dark, and witty. "Des Hauts et des Ha!" illustrates Robitaille's propensity for plays on words. For a lighter song, it is very well done, reconciling humor and prog rock without resorting to Frank Zappa-like comedy rock. "De Tous les Pays du Monde" (Of All the Countries in the World) is the only occurrence where Morse Code turned their interest to the rise of Quebec nationalism, but true to the group's universal ideals, Donald Lautrec and Robitaille wrote lyrics that could apply to any country, with lines like "You showed me my first sun/Drew my first rainbow" having the power to resonate in anyone's heart. Side two contains the 26-minute suite "Procréation," keyboardist Christian Simard's answer to Emerson, Lake & Palmer's "Karn Evil 9." In three movements, the piece constitutes the most impressive, monumental chunk of prog rock music recorded by a Quebec group. Its interlocking themes, alternating moods, and grandiose arrangements (slightly spilling over pomposity) are all memorable. Lyrics revolve around the procreation cycle and how children become parents. It is a shame that this album has not been reissued on CD, but that also makes it a prized collector's item.

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