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Renaissant - South of Winter CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.00 | 3 ratings

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3 stars The Sullivans are evidently a most musical family, with patriarch Terence best known as the former drummer in another musical family known as RENAISSANCE. In this project Terry contributes a smorgasbord of instrumentation and even sings on a couple of tracks. His wife Christine offers almost whispered vocals on the rest. which suit the wistful, contemplative and bittersweet moods, complemented by sparse yet atmospheric accompaniment on acoustic guitar and piano. When it works it is nigh spellbinding, as in "Carry me Home", "Burning Bridges", and the title cut.

Some of the glorious if brief piano passages, even those played by John Tout, sound closer in spirit to John Hawken's work with the original RENAISSANCE and the reformed lineup known as ILLUSION. Actually, while Terry Sullivan has specifically stated that he felt uncomfortable on lead vocals, he acquits himself well on "Cold Flame", with its smoldering distorted guitar in the chorus backing, and even better on "Careless", a hybrid of Mark Knopfler by way of DAN ARBORISE.

The overall range represented here seems rather circumscribed; songs like "Alone", "Dove", and "Morning", utterly lacking in grandeur and excitement, live and die by their melodies, which fail to distinguish even after many listens. Still, when "South of Winter" works, it does so by melting away the decades and returning us to a time when winter was just a season.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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