XII Alfonso

This Is

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This is a lengthy live recording from the French progressive rock outfit XII Alfonso. Recorded in 1998 and released in 2003, This Is unfolds in an ethereal, dreamlike manner with great emphasis given to textured keyboard effects and acoustic guitar. Predominantly instrumental, vocal support is provided by Caroline Lafue, whose wistful contribution to "Breathing Scarcely" is Clannad-like in its delicateness. Otherwise, the melodic instrumental passages resemble those forwarded 25 years earlier by progressive British acts like Camel, Steve Hackett, and Mike Oldfield as well as the more acoustic efforts of Jethro Tull. Although this album exceeds 78 minutes, the melodies are pleasant in their originality and the arrangements are continually fresh and not tedious.

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