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Renaissance - Time-Line CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

1.62 | 111 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
1 stars Time to draw a line

Up until the band's reformation in 2000, "Time line" was the final studio album by Renaissance. The 1990's releases under the Renaissance name were officially by Michael Dunford's Renaissance, and did not feature Annie Haslam. "Time line" was also the first album since the early years not to contain lyrics by Betty Thatcher-Newsinger, Jon Camp taking on lyric writing duties for this album. Released in 1983, "Time line" was undoubtedly the most radical change of style the band had undertaken in their entire history. While on "Camera camera", the credits implied the band were a five piece outfit, here they confirm that they are in fact a trio with a number of guest musicians.

Things actually get off to a pretty orthodox start, with the big sounding ballad "Flight" having many of the familiar symphonic sounds of traditional Renaissance. The synth pop which invaded the previous album soon returns though, reaching a new low on "Richard IX", which sounds like an Abba reject covered by Kim Wilde. It really is a tragedy to hear such a talented trio sinking so low. "Electric Avenue" is the other nadir, even by electro-pop standards it is poor.

Much of the album is inoffensive AOR tinged pop rock. The underlying quality is often discernible, but ruthlessly suppressed. "The entertainer" for example is clearly a Renaissance song, with great vocals and synth orchestration, but it is wrapped up in a cloak of sugary pop. The lyrical deficiencies are less apparent, but "Political intervention is something we shouldn't mention" ("Distant horizons") would never have been sung by our Annie in Mrs (Betty) Thatcher's day.

John Camp enjoys a rare outing to centre stage, providing lead vocal on the closing "Auto-tech". Unfortunately, this only serves to remove one of the few positives of the other tracks, i.e. Annie Haslam's voice. The song sounds rather like a reject from ELO's "Time" album.

In all, not an album to get the Renaissance faithful excited by any means. Even if we try our best to forget which band is performing here, and thus manage our expectations, the content is at best mediocre.

By the way, Marillion fans will be interested to learn that Ian Mosley plays drums on some tracks, although he may not thank me for mentioning it.

The sleeve image portrays a trio ready to enter the Eurovision Song contest, the hairdryers apparently being on full blast at the time.

Easy Livin | 1/5 |


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