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Jon Anderson - 3 Ships CD (album) cover


Jon Anderson


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2.56 | 112 ratings

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2 stars This is a Christmas album. What is interesting is the choice to blend traditional English Carols with original material. The credit to Vangelis in the liner notes reminds us that this is Jon during the 80's, with a lot of "Jon & Vangelis" going on. A lot of the synthesizer on the album is late analog/early digital. Good sounds, especially on the title track. Jon worked a lot in Christian spiritual metaphor in the early eighties, as evidenced by the Song of Seven and Animation albums, and this album could easily be seen as a companion piece to those albums. He lends a characteristic new age twist to the Christmas theme, howeve, evidenced by the three "SPACE" ships on the cover. He is thinking of Cosmic Christ here. The album was dedicated to a nonprofit called "Beyond War," something today's Christians could use some looking into.

Prog Highlights? Remember that we are in the Eighties here, when all of our favorite artists from the past were trying to find a commercially viable niche fro thier vision. "Forest of Fire," with it's world-beat electronic rhythms and chorus choirs sounds triumphant even today, and provides a stunning lead-in to "Ding-Dong Merrily on High," an old English Carol given a frenetic electronic twist. The same technique of original-leads-in-to-carol device occurs again with "Where Were You" leading into "O Holy Night."

I find this album very sincere, if also very much a product of its time. Jon Anderson afficionados would still be better served by this album than by some of his later work. Yes it is not, and I would barely call it prog if it were not for some of the tasty compositional and intrumentation choices, but Jon Anderson has a distinctive voice, and if you forigive him just a little bit, you can think of this album as "Baby Jesus of Sunhillow."

| 2/5 |


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