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

2020-09-09
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

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Oysterband - Here I Stand – Oysterband (originally The Oyster Band) has been making music in their own unique and developing style for more than a decade. I would hesitate to call them a post-punk equivalent of Fairport...  (2000) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues