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Art And Illusion - Seasons CD (album) cover


Art And Illusion


Eclectic Prog

2.78 | 7 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars I can hear the argument already: how good can any album be if the band is giving it away for free? In this case better than you might expect, and certainly more worthwhile than some reviewers would have you believe.

It's easily the most polished of the band's three studio albums (all of them available for complimentary download from their web site), if sometimes the least appealing musically. The stripped down simplicity of their earliest efforts (think of an unplugged MARILLION) is missed, replaced here by a polyester-smooth production and the occasional detour into the same ersatz jazzy pop of groups like STEELY DAN.

Elsewhere their sound is lush and romantic, and hardly Italian at all (the songs are all in English). But this was always a band that took unabashed pride in its role models: chiefly GENESIS and solo PETER GABRIEL, filtered through a warm Neo-Prog sieve.

Never mind the more commercial pap ("Shadowspell"; "Still") and concentrate on the better cuts: the album opener "Seven Seasons", with its groovy 12-string guitar intro and unexpected ambient fade-out; the lilting acoustic folk-pop of "Springtime Again!"; and "Reflections", one of several numbers with a rhythm track that wouldn't sound out of place on a PETER GABRIEL album. There's even a decent cover of the early GENESIS hit "I Know What I Like", a throwback to their days as a tribute album group-for-hire.

Apparently Art and Illusion began its life as a hard-working Prog cover band, playing old GENESIS chestnuts at a time when Phil Collins and company were touring sold-out stadiums around the world (with inferior music). To which I can only say three cheers for the struggling underdog, especially one with enough faith in its own music to give it away free on-line.

Neu!mann | 3/5 |


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