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Renaissance - Turn Of The Cards  CD (album) cover

TURN OF THE CARDS

Renaissance

 

Symphonic Prog

4.05 | 429 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Turn of the Cards are Renaissance fifth album and the third with the new lineup. The predecessor Ashes are Burning were a really good symphonic prog rock album with Annie Haslamīs beautiful voice being used to itīs max. Turn of the Cards are more of the same. In fact Ashes are Burning and Turn of the Cards are very much alike. There been little delelopment, but in this case itīs no problem.

The music is driven first and foremost by John Toutīs classical inspired piano playing and Annie Haslamīs beautiful vocal lines. There are some instrumental parts in the longer songs which are really symphonic with additional strings but these are arranged parts. There are no soloing or jamming sections in the songs here everything is arranged. The arrangements are very nicely done and I think Renaissance keeps just on the right side of the more pop orientated prog rock to still have integrity and power. I think they step a bit over that line with I Think of You though, itīs a bit to commercial for me to fully enjoy, but the rest of the album is excellent. Running Hard and Mother Russia being the most exciting epics here. Things I Donīt Understand points toward the early Renaissance in my ears which is great to me as Iīm a big fan of the two first albums from Renaissance. Black Flame and Cold is Being are very beautiful tunes as well. They are actually very dark both of them. Cold is Being is only Annie Haslam and the organ playing from John Tout.

The musicians are all outstanding and as usual I will point out how magnificent a vocalist Annie Haslam is. She masters everything she does with her voice. John Tout has to be mentioned as well as he is an outstanding pianist. He uses keyboards and synth sound very sparsely throughout the album and remember this was 1974 and it must have been very tempting to use all the new keyboards that were out there at this time, but he almost only uses piano and to great effect. It really sets Renaissance apart from most other prog bands that at the time uses synths and keyboards extensively.

The production is very good. Just a touch better than on Ashes are Burning which also had a very good sound quality.

This is excellent symphonic prog rock and itīs one of those album you just got to have if you like the style. Maybe the best female fronted prog rock band ever ? Iīll rate this 4 stars. Itīs not quite a masterpiece to me but itīs damn close.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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