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Renaissance - Turn Of The Cards  CD (album) cover

TURN OF THE CARDS

Renaissance

 

Symphonic Prog

4.05 | 428 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Eetu Pellonpää
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Another classic Renaissance album rejoicing the beautifulness of classical music and acoustic flavored art rock sounds synthesis in the court of Annie Haslam and her friends. "Running Hard" takes few warm-up rounds from the grand piano's keyboards, bass guitar joining the dash for the whole group's union on the lovely marathon to the core of sublime characteristics of beautifulness. Orchestrations support the lovely curves of the marvelous composition pleasantly, which reaches really enjoyable classical compositional levels, encapsulating my own concept of purest incarnation "symphonic rock". The glory of healing folk ballad crystallizes on following "I think of You", containing some shades of popular music's melodic developments, not ruining my own listening experience but might bother most purist elitists. This mellowness is contrasted with catchy pulsing of "Things I Don't Understand", resembling trough Rickenbacker's tones, large vocal harmonies and rhythmic solutions the "Time and A Word" songs of Yes. This association I get from the Renaissance's music isn't in my opinion sign of unhealthy plagiarism, as their own very recognizable sound builds from much vaster array of elements, and the detection might also be false from my perspective. Would however slip this album to hand of anybody inquiring similar music than Yes did. In the middle part of the composition the rhythm ceases, and moves to more distant valley for the echoes of angelic voices. The closing moment gathers elements from the song as very euphoric ascension to heavens.

"Black Flame" starts to flicker quite calmly, guitar strings quietly creating a vision of slowly falling snow flakes. Along with the vocal verse the song starts to gain more concrete shape, and burst to its ivory fires with dramatic powers, waving lovely from lower intensities to the higher pressure pyres. The moods continue to develop wonderfully, though as how obvious solution one could claim, I felt Tomaso Albinoni's Adagio in G minor interpretation with organ supporting Annie's singing makes "Cold Is Being" a real monumental sequence on this album. I believe the relying on simple classic melody helps to adore the singer's vocal tones, and really wakens up for the concluding track "Mother Russia". This wonderful composition continues both gathering themes from Russian musical themes and building masterful epic musical drama. The instrumental sequences hold powerful symphonic sequences paying homage to the master compositions, and the sung theme follows more the traits of dramatic folk rock epoch, these both uniting as hair raising climax on the verse.

Even though some of these lovely songs reached ever higher spheres on the forthcoming live double album, this fact doesn't lower the charms of this record from the solid quality pack of records the band created during 1970's. The compositions create a wonderful entity to listen with thought and heart completely, and the values of both beauty and sincere kindness on this album are unarguable.

Eetu Pellonpää | 4/5 |

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