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Anthony Phillips - Sides CD (album) cover


Anthony Phillips


Symphonic Prog

3.06 | 125 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars *I'd give this album 3.5 but I can't*

After further commercial indifference folowing his second album, Anthony Phillips decided to try a different approach. He decided it was time to simplify and to toughen up his approach. He ditched the intricate arrangements of Wise After the Event. He sat down and wrote a few harder songs that emphasized his electric guitar playing, a few simple ballads, and then wrote a series of more intricate and detailed songs for the second side. Some habits die old. The result was Sides an album that may be Anthony's hardest sounding album. It is one of his last fully song oriented albums and one of his last albums that could be classified as rock. After this album, Anthony would mostly stick to instrumental work.

It's not hard to see why. Though I thinks this album is good and enjoy most of it, it feels like Anthony was a bit lost here. The songs, while still catchy, seem poorer, less intricate, less thought over. It seems like he was rushing things a bit here and not spending a lot of time on some of the songs. The ballads, which you'd think would be a high point given Anthony's softer nature, tend to wisp away into the wind. Um and Aagh is an interesting song, as it's definitely harder edged for Anthony. The harder edged songs seem like a last gasp towards rock and roll for a musician who, despite his talent, never seemed destined to be a rock and roller or a rock and roll star. They're good and interesting, especially existing as they do as the last glimmers of rock and roll in Anthony's music.

The instrumentals on the second half show that Anthony's heart still lay in intricate composed pieces as opposed to pure songwriting. The balance between great songwriting and intricate arrangements was achieved on Wise After the Event but for some reason Anthony was either unwilling or unable to combine the two with this album. So we have one side of an album that's filled with catchy, but simple tunes and another side that's filled with intricate, but slightly unmemorable tunes. Strange album, but fascinating because of that.

SonicDeath10 | 3/5 |


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