Chaneton - Questions inside the picture - 2000


Chaneton, a clear example of typical neoprog, topic and without any innovation. That could be a very brief summary of the album that we now review. As a warning to the readers, you already know that neoprog is not my favorite style, and that most of it bores me to death. I would nearly prefer to listen to Enrique Iglesias new album than another more than typical neoprog album. In any case, there are groups that are not bad, maybe in my case I prefer those that are more influenced by the first times of prog and that I would not classify as neoprog (Supper's Ready, Versus X, Tempus Fugit). It is clear then that maybe I am not the most appropriate person in the progVisions team to judge this album, but I will do my best.


The album of this Argentinean group is composed by twelve pieces, in general all them of a 5-6 minute duration, sung in English, and following the clearest sound patterns in neoprog. I have read in some critics that these boys are the heirs of Marillion or IQ and going behind in time, of Genesis or Camel. I don't see it so clear, it is certain that in some moments the guitars or keyboards remember more than suspiciously to these groups, but on the whole they sound me more as the most boring Galahad, Pendragon or the Italian Edith, blended with some of the aggressiveness of Rush 80/90 and plenty of pomp-rock.

Alex Chaneton, former component of the group Mandragora, is accompanied in the album by Adrián Marqués Gómez (bass, guitar), Carlos Kleppe (piano, synthesizers, organ, choirs), Kike Gentile (drums in the songs 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 12), Jano Pérez Sermenti (drums in the rest of pieces), Patricio Villanueva (voice) and as an invited guest Germán Lami (keyboards, piano and synthesizer in 5, 9 and 11).

The best in the album: A) songs as "Long time past" in their quick and slow versions or "The Secret Box", where in my opinion the group shows more of an own identity and less recourse to the traditional neoprog, giving hints on its possible development potential. B) the excellent production of the album, C) the great quality of the players that create excellent musical fragments, mainly thanks to the excellent guitarist that gives name to the group, Alex Chaneton that shows along the album an excellent technique and who endows from a great sonority to his instrument, in a style, influenced by Rothery. It is also worthy of praise the amazing work of the keyboardist, mainly to the piano. D) finally, I would highlight the excellent artistic work of the album.

The worst in album. A) I would have preferred to hear the singer in Spanish, as the lyrics of the album, full with topics, lack in many times any sense in English (I imagine that they will have been translated directly from Spanish) and the singer apparently is not fluent in English, eating up the words, the intonation and the sense of the sentences. I imagine that for a native English speaker that listens to the album, it should be very amusing… In my case, I continue preferring that the groups sing in their native language. B) I don't hear any resemblance of Patricio's tone with that of Fish, and certainly in registrations he does not come close to the expresiveness and elegance of the wonderful Scottish singer. C) Finally, the structures of most of the pieces show little imagination and too much ears to trace structures listened to previously, in spite of the great quality of the musicians, and it is that in each moment we could play to the game of …this song’s -guitar-keyboard-melody resembles to……". on the whole all the songs possess moments of great interest, but they transform suddenly and without warning in new neoprog sounds or in copied patterns of the past that don't add anything new.


In summary, a good album for the lovers of neo prog, without great originality or inventiveness, and that in my opinion, would have improved a lot had it been sung in Spanish or been instrumental. I grade it with three stars, thanking their effort and their good technique, but I miss more risk and search for own ideas.

author - date - rating - label

José Nafría - October 2000 -   - New Mellotron Records