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Illusion - Enchanted Caress CD (album) cover




Eclectic Prog

2.76 | 18 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
3 stars There is something about tastefulness, understatement, and civility that can take a sad situation and make it bearable, or a simple pop song and make it classy. While on the one hand it's hard to imagine that "Enchanted Caress" emanates from the masters of ILLUSION, it retains these essential traits that have more to do with personality than whatever music they happen to be playing.

In fact, what is presented herein has more stylistically in common with early 1970s FLEETWOOD MAC thanks to a generally consistent if at times pedestrian rhythm section, subdued production, mix of male and female lead singers, and strong albeit muted melodies. Apart from the players, the prog credentials might come from the simple songs' ability to grow on the listener, from mere pleasant background to something to relax by, and there is a subtle difference.

Taken as a mellow and very peripherally progressive album, this is pretty enjoyable. It's true that the schmaltzy "Getting into Love Again" and "As Long as We're Together" let things down a bit. But a few songs do stand out: "Nights in Paris" has an excellent verse even if the chorus is mindless repetition. Jane Relf's vocal work and John Hawken's colorful piano on the gorgeous "The Man Who Loved the Trees" do recall the prior two albums. "Slaughter on 10th avenue" is an instrumental showcasing John Knightsbridge's lead guitar. My favourite is "Crossed Lines", with its catchy chorus and strong beat enhanced by Hawken's playing. "You are the One" points to some of the SALLY OLDFIELD work that would come later. While "All the Falling Angels" is decent, it is of value chiefly for historical reasons as it is left over from the early days and features KEITH RELF and some mellotron work.

An air of quiet resignation hangs over this album, and, given its time period, it's no wonder. This quality might only enhance its ability to caress listeners rather than force them to stand at attention. 2.5 stars rounded up.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |


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