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Wishbone Ash - Illuminations CD (album) cover

ILLUMINATIONS

Wishbone Ash

 

Prog Related

3.71 | 60 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars This album was a big musical surprise for me! I am not a big fan of Wishbone Ash and I never have been, even if I like several of their albums. I ordered this album solely because of one recommendation and because the cover art appealed to me (and no, I'm not religious). I hoped for a decent album and got an excellent one!

Mountainside is an excellent opening number with a very strong melody. The guitar work is stunning and the bass guitar sound is very loud and bottom. Wishbone Ash is not a progressive rock band, but the bass sound present here is typical of classic Symphonic Prog. And the instrumental break at 3:55 leading back to the chorus of the song is a magic moment for me; I just have to turn up the volume and play air guitar to this part! Indeed, there are several places on this album that make you want to play air guitar, and air bass guitar, and air drums too, for that matter.

While all the songs on this album are good, another one that needs special mention is the 10+ minute Tales Of The Wise. It has again great guitar and bass and some interesting tempo changes. Another Time has great acoustic guitar breaks. The Ring is an acoustically based song with great melody line.

There are a couple of more typical straightforward rockers here like Comfort Zone and No Joke that never would attract my attention on their own. But in the context of the other songs they do not stand out as bad. But the album would have been even better without those tracks, I think. Mystery Man is a cool song with some great slide guitar that sounds exactly as if it was played by Steve Howe!

Unusually for Wishbone Ash there are also some keyboards on this album that enhances the sound. But the keyboards are never a lead instrument.

If I must criticise something, I would want to say that the album is slightly too long. With a running time of over an hour a couple of songs could have been dropped. However, you should get the version with the extra track The Crack Of Dawn. For me this is an integral part of the album and should not have been a bonus track. It is an excellent acoustically based number that is a perfect closer to the album.

For me this album is the best Wishbone Ash album since There's The Rub (and I've heard most of their albums by now).

Highly recommended!

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |

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