Taal - Mister Green. 2000 France
On their debut album, Taal carefully skate the fine line between progressive rock and musical genre hopping. There is a difference. The former integrates influences into the full composition, whereas the latter throws a bunch of mud on the wall on the hopes something will stick. The first three tracks demonstrate that Taal are a force to be reckoned with, taking the 1970s French progressive masters into the modern age regarding instrumentation (heavier guitars, better production techniques) as well as filtering the best moments of the past. But once 'Ragtime' begins, Taal takes everything to the next level. Suddenly there's no comprehensive whole, and various factions are at war with each other as to what the album's music is to be. Something akin to ordering a Supreme pizza, where there's tons of ingredients, but someone in the kitchen lost focus on the crust, sauce, and cheese. (I always think in terms of food. In fact, what's in the fridge right now?...). In any case, there's still plenty of tracks to enjoy on their own, primarily 'Aspartamus', but the craziness detracts from what could have been a focused piece of art.