French TV - 9: This Is What We Do. 2006 USA

French TV - 9: This Is What We Do. 2006 Pretentious Dinosaur (CD)

Another new album from French TV. Another great album from French TV. There are few bands that can match French TV's consistent high quality over a long period of time. For 20+ years, French TV has produced and continues to produce complex, challenging progressive rock. Even more amazing, they actually get better with each release. Now they didn't set the bar real high in their early years, but they never put out a bad record either. But they seem to be getting better almost exponentially. I’m in awe of a band who can release nine albums in a 23 year time span, and never sound stale, retro or trendy. They never mail it in. And they are what one would want from a band that carries the heady term of progressive around. French TV are a mix of Avant Prog, Canterbury, big name UK symphonic, French and Scandinavian styles, even some of the more obscure over the top US progressives like Cathedral and Mirthrandir (and yes, they would have had access to these bands since their inception). But mostly they sound like French TV. In fact, as I hear This is What We do, I recall another elder statesman of creative rock music: Patrick Forgas and his Forgas Band Phenomena. Commercial success was never part of the blueprint for these gentleman. The material they compose is both complex and mature, yet still maintains the edge of youth. We have so few role models in rock music that carried the creative banner for decades, so we must look to jazz and icons like Miles Davis to see this kind of pushing forward as the years go by.

This is among my favorite releases by French TV. I've never listened to all of their albums back to back, but it would probably be interesting to note the ascension.

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