Saturday, September 19, 2009


Pollen's sole LP from 1976 is simply the best progressive rock album that came out of Quebec in the '70s. More progressive than Harmonium or Octobre, but a lot less derivative than Morse Code, the group recorded only six songs, but they are strong enough to stand among the very classics of the genre. Led by Jacques Tom Rivest's passionate (though not overtly theatrical) singing, the group's music was clearly shaped from the combined influences of Genesis, Yes, and Gentle Giant, with a particular emphasis on the contrapuntal keyboard style of the latter. And yet, if the results sound like typical British prog, they also have a distinctive Quebecois quality. Drummer Sylvain Coutu, guitarist Richard Lemoyne, and keyboardist Claude Lemay (who would later make a fortune as Celine Dion's bandleader) were all highly talented musicians and sensible arrangers. The album kicks off with the mean, tricky synthesizer line of "Vieux Corps de Vie d'Ange," a half hour's worth of epic material compacted into seven tight minutes, featuring Rivest's most angst-driven, desperately hopeful vocals. "L'Étoile" combines a strong ballad melody and powerful instrumental developments to create a hippie anthem that seems to be Pollen's answer to Morse Code's "Le Pays d'Or." "L'Indien"'s ecological despair focuses on an acoustic melodicism that brings to mind Harmonium's Si On Avait Besoin d'une Cinquième Saison. "Tout'l Temps" and "Vivre la Mort" work out as polar opposites. The first one, with lyrics by Raôul Duguay, is surprisingly upbeat and capped off with an anthological keyboard solo. On the contrary, "Vivre la Mort" is dark and menacing. The album ends with the ten-minute epic "La Femme Ailée," the group's most complex song, a virtuoso showcase. Pollen was recorded very professionally to start with, and ProgQuébec's reissue highlights its hi-fi quality better than the previous Kozak reissue, long out of print. This album belongs in any prog rock fan's collection. It contains no weak tracks and can stand the comparison with pretty much any British or Italian classic of the genre. Highly recommended. ~ François Couture, All Music Guide
Tracks :
Vieux Corps de Vie d'Ange
L' Etoile
L' Indien
Tout'l Temps
Vivre la Mort
La Femme Ailée
Link : @
Artwork Included


  1. thanks for this effort, very enjoyable, proggers everywhere- have a listen! cheers from oz

  2. Any band compared to Gentle Giant has to be worth a listen. Thanks for the opportunity to hear this.


tracker tracker