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I And Thou - Speak CD (album) cover


I And Thou



4.11 | 238 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Guess whose painting was used for this album? Well, I surely wouldn't have guessed, but the answer is Annie Haslam, the vocalist of Renaissance. I AND THOU is a one-timer project of Jason Hart, an American musician who has, among other things, played keyboards on tours of Camel and Renaissance. There you have the Haslam connection.

This is such a fine and pleasant prog album that it's a pity there haven't been follow-ups for this project. Hart spent years making this album and he recruited co- musicians from established prog circles, from bands such as IZZ. Hart himself not only plays keyboards but also some trumpet and percussion. He is responsible for compositions, producing -- and main vocals. His voice is rather tender (a bit comparable to Simon & Garfunkel, or the ballad side of The Alan Parsons Project) but not too weak at all.

Four of the five pieces are fairly extended on this hour- long album, and they flow very elegantly. The keyboards are naturally the most dominating instrument, and the best sonic reference -- both in my opinion and in the preceding reviews here -- is the quartet-era Genesis, ie. A Trick of the Tail and Wind & Wuthering, and to some extent also the solo debut A Curious Feeling (1979) by Tony Banks. Just listen to the 16+ minute 'Hide and Seek' and you understand all the praises for the beauty of this music. If you're fond of peaceful and pastoral Genesis songs like 'Mad Man Moon' or 'One for the Vine', you most likely will enjoy this album.

The shorter final piece 'Go or Go Ahead' is a Rufus Wainwright cover, and in a perfect harmony with everything heard before it. It's delicately sung by Steve Hogarth of Marillion, backed by the sparkling piano, acoustic guitar, glockenspiel and gentle waves of synths.

An excellent discovery for those enjoying romantic and peaceful prog: the quartet-era Genesis, Anthony Phillips, Camel, Renaissance. Even the eventual risk of sounding too similar with the seventies' classics is avoided. Five stars and a friendly smile!

Matti | 5/5 |


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