(All Album Reviews by maribor)
Narr is a young French band which started out in 2003 as the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Clément Werner. After a while, Narr became a stable outfit with Werner at the helm and Marti Ilmar Uibo and Kalevi Uibo doing their parts on percussion, guitar and backing vocals. On this, their debut album, they are joined by Laurent Lefebvre on flute.
Narr develop a softer variety of progressive rock, with an emphasis on folk rock (the flute and vocals are the most obvious “culprits” of this). There are certain symphonic elements as well (some Mellotron samples used, the piano segments and some very intriguing developments), while a great deal of the music also seems to be based around the philosophy of post rock, with themes being bent and shaped out of all recognition over extended periods of time.
Musically, we hear a very prominent rhythm section. The guitar is smooth and unobtrusive, with more focus on the development of melodic themes than on strictly technical playing. A good mix of acoustic and electric guitar is employed, although prevalently done softly (without distortion). The keyboards are used for background mostly, with many big chords creating dreamy atmospheres. The vocals are often choral and Gothic and often reminiscent of Gregorian chants. However, although it is clear that a lot of attention was put into the vocal parts, they are probably the weakest element here. It's not that they're poor or anything like that, it's just that they're very ordinary (in terms of colour and melodies) and don't stand out.
Should Narr choose to focus on a more instrumental approach, with vocals being used merely as another (backing) instrument, they would have a fine future as a folk/symphonic/post rock crossover. The music is ambitious and striving to discover new territories, which is always welcome. With a bit more focus on compact themes and their intertwining, Narr should have no problems creating a very fine legacy for themselves and for fans of such music.