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Album Review

Cos' fifth LP was their most ambitious project and remains quite an impressive progressive rock album on all counts. The group is regularly lumped in with French and Belgian groups of the RIO/Zeuhl variety (Magma, Etron Fou Leloublan, Zao), but the music on Pasiones borrows from way too many genres to fit that bill. It seems that songwriter Daniel Schell was willing to draw inspiration from nearly anything: prog rock; jazz fusion; populist chants; Spanish, Italian, and Eastern European traditional music — and that's only the tip of the iceberg. The story of this concept album is set during the Spanish Civil War and features three soldiers on leave in Barcelona, fighting over a widow. Lyrics are sung in French, English, Spanish, German, and Dutch, often combining several languages within a single line (as in the verse "War ist noir" from "Einstein, J'T'Aime"). Ilona Chale de Barcelona marvelously handles the female vocals, giving a slightly operatic feel to the whole performance. The music is complex, densely arranged, but also surprisingly entertaining. "Rumba y Cañones," "Adios Belleza," "Amigos," and "Trois Femmes dans Ma Tête" all have catchy choruses or riffs. That probably explains why Pasiones works — and ages — so well, this balance between bold musical statements (dissonances, unusual chord progressions) and immediate elements to catch hold of the music. [The 2005 Musea reissue offers a good remastering of the original LP and adds 35 minutes of archival documents. First up are seven tracks from a 1984 concert in Toulouse. The sound quality is bearable but nothing extraordinary (with a lack of bass frequencies). The set includes tracks from Pasiones with interesting variations. Also included is a rehearsal take from 1981 and two tracks off the 12" single Hotel Atlantic from 1984. The sound here is muffled, and the music more dance-oriented. But these are just extras for the fans. Casual listeners, especially connoisseurs of forward-thinking prog rock, will revel in the material that comprised the original LP. A must-have.] ~ François Couture, Rovi


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

An obscure jazz-rock band that existed from the mid-'70s through the early '80s, Cos was led by singer/oboe player Pascale Son, and also featured members Daniel Schell (flute, guitar), Bob Darsch (drums), Alain Goutier (bass), and Charles Loos (keyboards). Self described as a "mixture of jazz and Canterbury," the quintet released such albums...
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Pasiones, CoS
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