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Anthony Phillips - Wise After The Event CD (album) cover

WISE AFTER THE EVENT

Anthony Phillips

 

Symphonic Prog

3.80 | 178 ratings

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BrufordFreak
4 stars No one, and no album, captivates the awesome power and beauty of the 12-string guitar so well as this little gem. Yes, the ballad format can start to 'get old' after the fourth or fifth song, but, taken in isolation, each song provides quite a masterful and sensitive glimpse into one man's--a very gifted artist's--very deep emotions. AP has never really received his just desserts despite a career of prolific and fairly constant output--output at a consistently high quality and creativity. Where he has fallen short of fame is in the fact that his music--as well as his stories--has rarely matched the current expectations of pop culture; Ant always seems to come from and occupy a world quite all his own--and is quite content to do so, it would appear. I have always admired that 'devil may care' attitude in Anthony Phillips. This album stands up exceedingly well over time--especially in the newly re-mastered form. Try it--if only one song at a time. I think it will get under your skin and haunt you with its melancholic beauty. Wise After The Event is, to my mind, kind of like a musical slice of Emily Dickinson. Innocent, maybe naive, and, though ever so personal, filled with gems to which we can all relate. Though I find each and every song on this album extraordinary in their unique ways, I would recommend starting with "Regrets," "Paperchase" or "Now What (Are They Doing to My Little Friends)." You may find Ant's tendency to match two seemingly unmatchable parts into the standard ABACAB song format a little grating at first but give it time, you'll get used to it, learn to accept this idiosyncratic song-building approach because this artist's sincere commitment to his craft comes shining through with such stunning, subtle beauty and authentic sensitivity. Even Ant's humor (which can be quite constant) is special. I know I've spent hours of my life just pouring over his album covers--especially the ones created by his incredibly talented friend, Peter Cross. (Who has a career well worth looking into all his own!) It might take some time to get used to Ant's unique voice--and the way it seems to be deeply imbedded within the music--but, again, it is, IMHO, well worth it. A collection of masterful song gems that I can only give four stars because, though it has many prog folk and crossover elements and uses many innovative (for that time) recording techniques, it does not quite fit my definition of what's 'proggy.' Though I love many AP albums, this one is one of my favorites.
BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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