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Renaissance - Scheherazade And Other Stories CD (album) cover

SCHEHERAZADE AND OTHER STORIES

Renaissance

 

Symphonic Prog

4.31 | 1041 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Scheherazade and Other Stories is the sixth studio album from female led symphonic prog rock band Renaissance. Renaissance is at the peak of their career on this album and had been building towards this climax with the two albums that came before Scheherazade and Other Stories. Both Ashes are Burning and Turn of the Cards are excellent symphonic prog rock albums that belong in every prog rock collection. Scheherazade and Other Stories is Renaissance masterpiece from their second era.

The album consists of four songs: Trip To The Fair, The Vultures Fly High, Ocean Gypsy and Song Of Scheherazade. All four tracks are excellent songs. Itīs been a while since I reviewed Turn of the Cards and I must admit that I had forgotten how beautiful Renaissance music can be, but here on Scheherazade and Other Stories I am reminded of that multible times.

Trip to the Fair have to be my new favorite Renaissance song. Itīs 10:48 minutes long but not a moment is out of place. This is one of John Toutīs finest performances on the piano and he even plays a bit of synth in the song which is something Renaissance seldom do. Annie Haslam sings beautifully and with a conviction seldom heard in any form of music. Also note the almost coctail jazzy part shortly after the drums kick in. It could have been a disaster but fits the music very well.

The Vultures Fly High was probably the single from Scheherazade and Other Stories as it is the shortest song here with itīs 3:07 minutes. Many reviewers complain that this isnīt much more than a vers chorus radio friendly song, but listen again people. Lots of intriguing instrumental playing is heard throughout this song and even though it is a vers chorus song itīs still challenging enough for me to enjoy. Great song.

Ocean Gypsy is a ballad type song which also has majestic parts. Itīs a very beautiful song where Annie Haslam really shines. Ballads are not my prefered song type but when Annie sings my heart melts and I just canīt help loving this song. Beautiful just beautiful. Note the very Genesis like middle section. It could have been done by Tony Banks.

Song Of Scheherazade which filled out the whole of side 2 of the original LP is a 24:52 minutes long epic track. There is a classical orchestra playing on this song and it works perfectly. Iīm not usually a fan of merging rock music with a classical orchestra as it usually sounds like the rock band is playing in one room and the orchestra is playing in another, but on Song Of Scheherazade this unholy alliance works well. The two styles compliment each other instead of overruling each other as it happens in the worst cases. Of course a song that lasts nearly 25 minutes has lots of sections and the song includes both male and female singing. This is the ultimate climax of Renaissance career. Very beautiful and symphonic.

The musicianship is outstanding and the production is dynamic and well sounding.

So is this a 5 star masterpiece ? Not quite IMO. I really like this album very much, but there are still moments in Renaissance music that I think is a bit too romantic for my taste. This is a very big 4 star album for me. Almost a 5 star rating from me. If youīre new to Renaissance start with this album. Youīll be amazed.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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