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Renaissance - Turn Of The Cards CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.08 | 574 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars A turn in the wrong direction

Many bands in the first half of the 70's "progressed" (partly) by adding more and more elements to their respective sounds. The Prog Folk band Strawbs, for example, started out as a rather straightforward acoustic Folk group in the late 60's and then went on to add drums, electric guitars, and gradually various keyboard instruments including organ, Mellotron, and Moog synthesiser, etc. to their unique sound. In the case of Strawbs, this very interesting progression culminated with the excellent Hero And Heroine album (that incidentally featured John Hawken - a former Renaissance member). A similar expansion happened in many other Prog bands around this time. Yes, for example, added a broader range of electronic keyboards from Fragile onwards. Renaissance, however, seem to have been going in almost the opposite direction and stripping their sound of almost all electricity. Classical grand piano and acoustic guitars remained the core of the Renaissance sound, with drums and electric bass being the only typical Rock elements still present. All this together with the pure and untypical (for Rock) female lead vocals somehow makes the music of Renaissance less than fully satisfying for me. I like the atmosphere they create, but I can't help feeling that there is something missing.

Don't get me wrong though, I fully understand what the attraction here is. This band contains a lot of talent in both the song writing department and in the instrumental and vocal department. The voice of Annie Haslam is distinctive and very pretty. I find this music pleasant and enjoyable, but it somehow fails to impress me. I think it lacks punch. Maybe if they added some electric guitars and synthesisers to the mix it would be better?

Good, but (like almost all other albums by this band) not essential for me

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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