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Renaissance - Prologue CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.74 | 469 ratings

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3 stars Here began the Annie Haslam -era of RENAISSANCE. I borrowed this LP in the summer of '90. [ EDIT: at the time of writing this review in 2007 I hadn't listened to the whole album in years, but now in February 2019 I feel I was too merciless on it. ] Folk-rooted Prologue showed the way the band was starting to develop with the new line-up -- although Michael Dunford appears on this album only as a composer; the guitarist is Rob Hendry at this point --, but I think this is rather weak, especially if compared to the more symphonic, seminal albums such as Turn of the Cards or Scheherazade and Other Stories. A "prologue" indeed, where the unique Dunford-Thatcher writing collaboration is only on its way to bloom.

None of the six tracks make it into my favourites list. The best known and perhaps the finest track is the opener 'Prologue' with wordless singing highlighting the impressive vocal range of Haslam. 'Kiev' is an OK folkish song not far from the style of the earlier Renaissance, as is the simple 'Spare Some Love'. The male vocals have never been Renaissance's strongest features. The calm 'Sounds of the Sea' (with exactly what the title promises) could have been developed into a more beautiful dreamy Song; there's a slight demo-like feel to this album here and there. 'Bound for Infinity' is a good serene song.

The 11-minute 'Rajah Khan' is the most ambitious one with its Eastern influences, but I find it slightly boring and pretentious. The next album, Ashes Are Burning, was another big leap forward. The best side of Prologue to me is possibly the fascinatingly weird Hipgnosis cover. Still, three stars deserved.

Matti | 3/5 |


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