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Renaissance - Midas Man CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.00 | 2 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars After a year of no new studio material from Renaissance (only the double album Live at Carnegie Hall came out in 1976), 1977 saw the release of Novella, which I definitely count among the group's finest achievements. Sadly some critics don't agree at all, for example All Music Guide's Bruce Eder rates Novella strangely with two stars only. That beautiful album contains lengthy symphonic epics 'Can You Hear Me?' and 'Touching Once (Is So Hard to Keep)' and three shorter tracks, the whole leaning towards introspective and melancholic feeling which may put some listeners off. This single has two shortest songs from Novella, but they are nevertheless very representative of the album's overall atmosphere. It must be quite rare to have a single with both songs this firmly in minor key.

'Midas Man' sees Annie Haslam in a very central role while the acoustic guitar oriented arrangement is kept rather simple. The deeply melancholic and moving song about greed makes me imagine a Renaissance-era group performing in a Medieval church.

B-side's song 'The Captive Heart' is coloured by classically flavoured, decorative melodies of piano. Haslam's gorgeous voice is again the true star of the song, with excellent vocal harmonies in the chorus. While this song is slightly more light-hearted and brighter than 'Midas Man', also it has a deeply melancholic undertone. It's very understandable that not all Renaissance fans value such minor key intimacy so highly, but I love these songs as much as I love Novella as an album.

Matti | 4/5 |


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