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Spaced Out by Spaced Out

This is a good enough CD for what it is. If you are a fan of guitar driven jazz fusion a la Joe Satriani and the like, it will appeal to you. If you aren't, it will do nothing to change your position. There is no denying the fact that these young men from Quebec can play their instruments. The ten compositions on this CD, all written by bassist Antoine Fafard, are rhythmically and chordally complex and the musicians display considerable virtuosity in performing them.

But to what purpose? Like much fusion, this music lacks both the simple charms of real rock and the elegance of real jazz. The rhythm section of Fafard and Mahew do their best to approximate funk, but it is evident that they don't really feel the funk. Also, while I am not ideologically opposed to electric keyboards on a jazz album when done right, I do have a problem when the sounds remind me of a video game as on this record.

Ultimately, though, this kind of music sinks or swims based on the quality of the guitar playing, and fortunately that is indeed the best thing in this group. Mathieu Bouchard plays on most of the album, and he infuses his solos with a real sense of lyricism and doesn't get too bogged down in trying to impress with his chops. Louis Cote appears on two tracks, A Freak Az and The Fifth Dimension. His style is flashier and less satisfying to my ears, although my response may have something to do with the cumbersome nature of those compositions.

This music, unfortunately, is not spaced out enough. There is no real freedom in the grooves. Still, if you like later Zappa and the virtuoso guitar music of the last fifteen years or so, you'll probably enjoy this band.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Spaced Out
  • CD Title: Spaced Out
  • Genre: Fusion
  • Year Released: 2001
  • Record Label: Unicorn Records
  • Musicians: Antoine Fafard (electric bass guitar and programming), Martin Mahew (drums), Mathieu Bouchard, Louis Cote (electric guitars), Eric St Jean (keyboards)
  • Rating: Five Stars
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