Exposé Online banner

French TV — Ambassadors of Good Health and Clean Living
(Pretentious Dinosaur, 2016, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2016-06-10

Ambassadors of Good Health and Clean Living Cover art

It’s been a half dozen years or so since French TV’s last one, I Forgive You for All My Unhapiness, and it seems that the longer the wait between albums now, the more difficult they become to absorb. Certainly this one tops that in every respect; even afer about twenty careful listens from beginning to end, I still never know what’s coming around the next corner. There are too many ideas crammed into each of the six tracks (three of which approach or break the ten minute mark), and those ideas seldom last more than a few measures before they are swapped out for something else and head in an entirely different direction; it’s often like an schizophrenic patchwork of random ideas that seldom develop much beyond their basic introduction, making the album as a whole pretty much impenetrable. For those who like that kind of thing, I’m sure this will be the perfect prescription, but for myself, I like a bit more follow-up and further development after the initial introduction of a melodic idea. The band membersip has changed wholesale from last time out – something that might be expected after such a long absence. The only holdovers fom the previous release are bassist Mike Sary and engineer Howie Gano. The remainder of the band are new faces: guitarist Katsumi Yaneda, drummer Mark Perry, and keyboardists Takao Kawasaki or Ryuji Yanekura (track depending) not only shine with brilliance as players, but also participated in the creation of all the complex and quirky compositions. Don’t get me wrong, this is a fine album created by top notch players and writers, and I’m certain that the members were striving for this degree of complexity (and perhaps inaccessibility) in the compositions. Such is the utimate goal of progressive rock it seems.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): French TV

Latest news

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Randy California - The Euro-American Years 1979-1983 – It merits discussion as to what, in the early 80s context, constituted the difference between a Spirit album and a Randy California album. Because nearly every Spirit composition in those days was...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues