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Anyone's Daughter - In Blau CD (album) cover

IN BLAU

Anyone's Daughter

 

Symphonic Prog

3.91 | 80 ratings

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kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars Buoyed by the commercial success of their live "Piktors Verwandlungen", and by their first use of native vocals, Anyone's Daughter switched to German for their next two albums. They also spread their stylistic palate wide, hoping to catch any listeners who happened to be about. This could have been a big mistake in lesser hands, but AD has a definable sound regardless of the approach, and their attention to detail in the arrangements, tunes, and vocals allows them to routinely set the bar well above the high water mark of others.

To illustrate their adeptness and versatility, one need only listen to the first 2 tracks, the pounding "Sonnenzeichen - Feuerzeichen" with its heavy bass and searing guitars, followed by the acoustic celtic sounding "Fur ein kleines Madchen". Apart from presaging the Neu Deutsch Welle in which teutonic bands increasingly sang in their mother tongue, AD must have been listening to global rhythms as well, as evidenced in the beats of "Nichts für mich", which features a delightfully jazzy change of pace and sharply polite tradeoffs between Karpa and Ullmer. Then a bluesy section with oodles of crunching organ prevails, eventually topped by more of Karpa's best licks. Finally the song returns to its mellow beginnings and a reprise of the vocal melody before fading out. While a modest 6:30 in length, it is an example of how much AD could cram into a relatively short space.

"Nach diesem Tag" points to the dignified prog-pop direction in which the band was heading, and features Bareth's caressing vocals over mellow drums and what sounds like electric piano. Even here they manage to include a well developed lead guitar solo and some soothing harmonies. "La la" is a rousing wordless track featuring more aggressive yet melodic organ and synths amid Bareth's pronunciations on the title. It was particularly suited to their live shows but works well as a high energy interlude amongst the generally slower paced proceedings. "Sonne" is yet another chrystalline acoustic number that sounds as much Alan Stivell - sans harp - as it does Anyone's Daughter. The extended closing instrumental section keeps the unplugged substrate but includes electric guitars and keys, and drips with feeling.

The album ends on a note that should please almost everyone here - the three part "Tanz und Todd", and the three segments could not be more different, from Genesis like prog pop to technically brilliant piano solo a la Keith Emerson to narrated section featuring a buildup and finale worthy of Mike Oldfield. It really represents this disk in all its broad-brush glory. "In Blau" may not be a perfect CD, but its balance of technique and emotion is rare in prog rock, and is what the doctor ordered for the "blues".

kenethlevine | 4/5 |

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