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Renaissance - Azure d'Or CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.03 | 225 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Renaissance - "Azure D'Or" is one those LPs that is criminally underrated along the likes of Yes - "Going For The One" and Genesis - "And Then There Were Three...". Certainly this release deserves a 3.5 or 4.0 rating out of 5 stars as it stands alongside the greats in the Renaissance discography. Produced by David Hentschel (of Genesis "And Then There Were Three"), some people have a problem with his production? I don't get it.

The material is varied if somewhat eclectic sounding...and STILL Renaissance. I find "Azure D'Or" to be one of Renaissance's more "traditional proggy" sounding LPs. Many have mentioned the introduction of new sounding keyboards by John Tout. Sure, there's an introduction to new keyboards, but they still sound very '70s by prog. standards, and not unlike(quite similar, really) to what Tony Banks of Genesis and Rick Wakeman of Yes were using at the time. You're not going to get Ultravox or Depeche Mode here, folks. No New Wave here...just a refinement of prog.(the same approach Genesis took with "And Then There Were Three" and Gentle Giant on "The Missing Piece" -side 2). You're getting string-synth, yamahas, moogs, etc. in this package. Nothing out of step from the '70s prog scene. In fact, I am reminded of the John Williams project SKY with Annie Haslam on vocals. Speaking of SKY, the instrumental here "The Discovery", would not be out of place on one of their first 2 LPs. Francis Monkman could've played keyboards on this. Also of note is the vibraphone. Vibraphone is used quite often on this release with hints of Pierre Moerlin's Gong, Mike Oldfield's "Incantations" and early Gentle Giant.

This release would appeal to fans of Curved Air and Sky, although it still sounds like Renaissance. Give this one new ears, please. 4 stars out 5.

Gooner | 4/5 |


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