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Renaissance - Scheherazade And Other Stories CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

4.31 | 1113 ratings

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3 stars As I previously mentioned in my two other Renaissance review, Scheherazade And Other Stories was not the album I was expecting it to be. My initial experience with this album was so damaging that it took me a long time to even get the notion of continuing exploring Renaissance. Luckily I eventually did just that and was rewarded by quite an extraordinary new experience.

Eventually I started to enjoy Scheherazade And Other Stories a bit more but still to this day it's nowhere near a favorite of mine. The main reason for my discontent is that this release just doesn't grab me. Songs like the overlong Trip To The Fair and commercially oriented The Vultures Fly High are nowhere near the level of the excellent performances from Ashes Are Burning or Turn Of The Cards. Ocean Gypsy is the only true ray of sunlight on this album which temporarily makes me forget much grudge whenever I listen to it, but ultimately it's not enough for me to forgive the album for its shortcomings.

The lengthy Song Of Scheherazade, which occupies the entire side two, is really not the masterpiece that so many seem to make it out to be. To me, this is a very underdeveloped epic that never can hold my attention all throughout the performance. There are definitely a few very strong sections but they are not expanded upon and instead it sounds like a mishmash of a medley. I think that Uriah Heep's Salisbury is pretty much on the same level and ultimately sounds like a stab at the popular progressive music genre of the time. Although unlike that Heavy Prog band, Renaissance was a fully-fledged Symphonic Prog act that should have had enough knowledge of how to comprise this type of lengthy material.

No matter how I twist and turn this album it just never seems to make sense to me. It might not be a complete flop, but based on my own experience I would not recommend it as an introductory album into the magical realm of Renaissance.

***** star songs: Ocean Gypsy (7:05)

**** star songs: Song Of Scheherazade (24:52)

*** star songs: Trip To The Fair (10:48) The Vultures Fly High (3:07)

Rune2000 | 3/5 |


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