Sensitive To Light is the latest project from French musician and composer Vynce Leff whose other band was Saens. I said was as it looks like Saens are, for the present anyway, inactive. Though on the evidence of this album, the sound lives on in Sensitive To Light. What I enjoyed about Saens two albums for Cyclops; "Escaping from the Hands of God" and "Prophet in a Statistical World" was their complex musical themes and arrangements all developed within a very symphonic, prog setting. The same approach has been adopted for this latest band project. This time though the lead vocal duties are handled by excellent Scottish female vocalist Jenny Lewis which adds a completely new dimension to Leff's compositions in comparison to what he did in Saens, though the same complex arrangements are present. That can make for a difficult few listens as it did with the Saens albums, but the effort is very worthwhile.
Leff uses the well known story of Pinocchio as the launch pad for the concept of the album. But he uses this as an allegorical tale and delves into much deeper ideas and concerns about the human condition in general. As with Saens, the focal point of the album is the strong central concept ideas which the album is written around. It is good to see unusual lyrical ideas worked within the framework of this type of music. For me that's what makes prog interesting and makes the music work on many different levels. However, Leff ensures the lyrical concept never bogs down the music. This is never a problem here as there are strong musical themes running throughout the course of the album.
Predominant throughout is Leff's excellent guitar playing which is reminiscent of Mike Oldfield in places. Comparisons to similar female fronted, symphonic prog acts like Glass Hammer and Magenta could easily be made, but I think Leff's knack for weaving complex, yet melodically rich musical patterns is very much his own. As with Saens there is a feeling of pushing everything; the concept, compositions, arrangements, playing to their absolute limits without anything overreaching itself. This is really bold, audacious prog.
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