To my eternal shame, it wasn’t until this album arrived that I realized The Guess Who were the band behind the iconic “American Woman.” With roots stretching back to the 1960s, the current lineup, which includes original member Garry Peterson, takes listeners on an eight-song journey in “Plein D’Amour.”
The opening track, “The King,” offers a neat insight into the band’s world. With a blend of ELO, Deep Purple, and the knowing bombast of Queen, the song showcases exquisite harmony-driven music. It sets the stage for a diverse experience, as the band, originally formed as a garage band, dips their toes into various musical realms throughout the album.
“Across The Line” leans more towards the prog-rock side, while “People Around Me” relies on its captivating piano melodies before exploding into a sound reminiscent of a US radio hit from 1974 that Supertramp played.
What makes this album particularly intriguing is the wide range of styles they explore. The more acoustic track, “Headline,” and the swirling psychedelics of “Pursuit Of No Regret” demonstrate the band’s versatility. They then follow it up with the epic-sounding “Spaces,” which impressively manages to deliver its impact in just four minutes—a neat trick indeed.
The album takes pride in its classic sound, immersing itself in its own history. Tracks like “Free” exude a certain charm, and it’s difficult not to feel love for “Plein D’Amour.” – both the harmony laden track, with its Focus- esque flute – and the album as a whole.