Sometimes you receive rather weird or strange review copies. It happened to me again when the album Lost In Passion by Lust & Passion entered my mailbox. The album cover was not the usual album cover that's for sure. It contained a drawing of three people having sex with each other. A woman accompanied by two men. Also inside the booklet you could see lots a drawings of naked people. Well to be honest I hadn't seen anything like this before. But our motto for Background Magazine is independent, honest & critical! Not forgetting freedom of speech! So far for the visuals. I was really curious what the music had to offer. As I put the disc in my CD player it turned out to be true progressive rock that I heard. So that's always nice. Many times promos arrive which have nothing to do with our beloved genre.
Now I will go deeper into what is on this release music wise. Obviously the name Lust & Passion doesn't ring any bells. However if you know that the person behind this musical project is Alan Charles (from Montreal, Québec in Canada) some people might tell you who he is. For those who don't know I can tell you that he is an author, composer, musician, multi-instrumentalist, producer and creator of musical projects such as Existence and Eletria.
Well let's start with how this album got made by only one male person in control of every musical instrument and one female who was responsible for some singing and speaking.
Alan Charles wrote all the songs and produced the album on which he played on all of the instruments you will hear. There is also a mention of the BBC Symphony Orchestra on the credits as well. However it isn't as you would think. They did not perform their parts as a complete orchestra. He asked this renowned orchestra for permission to use their sound bank, each reproducing an orchestral instrument, controllable from a keyboard. Authorization was granted to him! Thanks to this user license, he was able to put the orchestration he had in mind on digital tape. The outcome is just incredible. You really would think a real orchestra is present on the album. Unbelievable how he put it all together. So bravo to Alan to pulling this off! Alan did also sang the male vocal parts and left the female vocals in the hands of Kim Gosselin.
Together they created a really impressive album about a man, a woman and an unexpected sensual discovery. Intense and emotionally packed! Well that's the story told in only a few words. The album cover (done by Virginie Ménard) will partially lift the veil on what is going on between the persons in the drawing. For a more detailed story you will have to read the lyrics or listen to what the singers tell you. Or look at the drawings inside the booklet which were done by Alan himself. Music wise the album moves very much into the direction of an album such as The Wall by Pink Floyd. Most of all Allan's voice resembles the voice of Roger Waters. Sometimes Alan's guitar parts also move towards the style of playing by David Gilmour. But never really copies this great musician. The acoustic guitar and piano play a large role in the compositions throughout the entire album. This is all beautifully done! The orchestral instruments such as violins, horns and trumpets move the music many times into the direction of Big Big Train. This is also beautifully done!
I will not go deeper into the songs separately. But I can tell you that what you hear is very impressive. I think most lovers of progressive rock will enjoy Lost In Passion whole heartedly. You can hear that Alan Charles has put his whole heart and soul into the artistic musical project. Almost like a life's work that has been brought into reality.
So bravo to Alan Charles for putting this all together by mostly only one person. Who must have spent all his free time to put this amazing impressive work together. If you have the chance to hear this album grab it with both hands. Don't let the cover allow you to put this album aside. You probably will regret it. I am glad that a review copy was send to me to enjoy all of this beautiful artistic work! Only too bad that you probably only see the censored version of the cover on the internet. Because of the original version being banned from social networks.
**** Henri Strik (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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