Band: Claire Vezina
Band Website: www.clairevezina.com
Label: Unicorn Digital
Label Website: www.unicorndigital.com
Release Date: 2008
I make no apologies for liking music that falls outside the scope of mainstream symphonic prog. A little variety is good for the ear. The new disc from French-Canadian songstress Claire Vezina is one of those discs. This is Vezina’s fourth disc and in many respects reminds me of the work of artists such as Lisa Del Bello, Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel, people who incorporate many progressive rock elements into their musical approach.
There are twelve tracks on Cyber Neptune, most of which are in the three to four minute category but also a couple five-minutes and one over six. There is a real kind of art-rock vibe, with each composition loaded with a spacious atmospheric tone. From the short opening title track “Cyber Neptune” [2:23] you get a feeling of moody intensity that sits just below the surface of each song. Then as each song goes through its phases she bursts out with an anthemic chorus here or a catchy repetitive line there. Each of the tracks incorporates elements of restraint and then usually there are times where the instruments collide in dramatic fashion building to stirring crescendo that sometimes never climaxes. It’s this hesitant-resolution to Vezina’s compositions that is hypnotic and so captivating. That combined with Vezina’s unique voice make for a disc that has a long playing shelf life. Her songs typically start in one fashion and end in sometimes very unexpected ways. She also tends to write in a non-traditional manner so her songs don’t always come off sounding like the traditional verse-chorus arrangement. There are even a couple instrumentals which feature some pleasant Mellotron strings and Vezina’s dreamy vocalizations.
Cyber Neptune is a very captivating disc. I think that Claire Vezina’s musical style is one that will appeal too many symphonic or prog fans who appreciate what Peter Gabriel does, mixing pop and prog together. It certainly worked its magic on me and I was hooked.