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Renaissance - A Song For All Seasons CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.65 | 322 ratings

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5 stars A Song for all Seasons is the ultimate Renaissance album, the one they had been pointing to for almost a decade. Here they shed some of the preciousness that kept most of their previous works from being full 5 star efforts, added some electronics while continuing to embrace the orchestral backing, and delivered a pop sensibility to several tunes, resulting in an incredible achievement for symphonic prog for 1978. Almost all their contemporaries had sold out, and here was Renaissance producing the most convincing album of their career.

From the opening anticipatory sounds of the achingly beautiful "Opening Out", to the histrionics of the title track, this is a group effort. "Day of the Dreamer" is a potent epic indeed, with multiple parts and none so heartwarming as the soft middle section with Annie's plea to the dreamer, and a reprise of the album's main theme. "Closer than Yesterday" has us listen to multiple Annie's sing a pastoral folk number, while "Kindness at the End" features wicked bass lines and a splendid vocal from Jon Camp. "Back Home Once Again" is almost pure pop except with a lusciousness that assures us this is no pure pop band. I wish I could buck the trend and give praise to "She is Love", but it really is a dud, just not enough to diminish the disc, because "Northern Lights", the band's only hit, follows with a melody and chorus you won't soon forget, and "A Song For All Seasons" is uplifting in its wistfulness as it takes you thru the seasons of life.

Alas, this was not an achievement that Renaissance could come close to repeating, which is sad. Yet one could argue that most bands fall short of reaching their full potential before they run their course. That Renaissance was able to realize so much so late only strengthens their status as one of rock's truly unique talents.

kenethlevine | 5/5 |


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