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




Symphonic Prog

3.65 | 322 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars 1978, the year of 'Tormato, 'And Then There Were Three'... The downhill of prog has clearly begun. Renaissance made no exception in shifting towards more poppy songs - the previous album 'Novella' is IMHO their finest and most artistic work. - Now, you expect me to bash this very different follower? Sorry, I won't do that; I like it a lot. An earlier reviewer hits the nail saying that David Henschel (who has produced Genesis) "encouraged the band to bring out some of their hidden energy, thus giving this often mellow band a much needed edge". While one can complain about some songs being simple and light, this album has a lovely, fresh and rich sound, and even at its most poppy it's still miles ahead of average mainstream pop. A good example is the famous hit 'Northern Lights'. It just makes the listener shiver with joy. Of course its charm is based very much on Annie Haslam's superb voice - which maybe has never sounded better than on this album. But there are also many fantastic moments of pure Symphonic Prog. For example 'Opening Out' (with a magnificent contrast between soaring orchestral passages and fragile, sensitive details) is one of the best album openers I know. And when Annie sings "to feel your touch" in the slow movement of 'Day of the Dreamer' I truly am touched by her.

What faults would this LP have then? Well, there's one song I don't like: 'She Is Love' sung by the bassist Jon Camp. Hardly that syrupy song would make an impression with Annie either, whereas 'Kindness' that ends the happy & romantic first side with sadder emotions is gorgeous and works really fine with male vocals. Rather repetitive 'Back Home Once Again' is another unfavourite of mine.

The weak start of the second side is compensated by 'Northern Lights' and the majestic, long and progressive title track with all the ingredients of a memorable Renaissance composition. My conclusion: a very pleasant, perfectly produced 4-star album recommendable to friends of romantic, 'feminine' symphonic prog. Definitely my favourite from 1978.

Matti | 4/5 |


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