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Jon Anderson - In The City Of Angels CD (album) cover


Jon Anderson


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2.67 | 112 ratings

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2 stars How bad the 80s have been! After Big Generator Jon Anderson makes himself guilty of an album of this kind...commercial pop with disco/funky parts and almost nothing progressive...wait, is it totally so?

Let's go track by track: the opener "Hold On To Love" absolutely yes. In the sense that's just a pop song with disco rhythm and electronic easy jazz parts like some of the glamour bands of that time. Things like "Matt Bianco" or "Wang Chung"....only Jon's voice can partially save it. You may decide to listen to it until the end without skipping to the following one.

The Calypso songs are part of Jon's solo albums since many years. "If It wasn't For Love" is one of them. In the chorus there are clues of Jon Anderson, the rest is Harry Belafonte a couple of octaves higher than usual. Not a bad song, but this is not what one searches for in a Jon Anderson's album...until this one....

"Sundancing" is the first decent thing of the album. Not too far from "Short Stories" and precursor of ABWH. I personally don't like the electronic brass accents between one sentence and the other as it gives the song an unneeded south-American imprinting. You can expect to hear "Brother Of Mine" following the sudden end of this song.

"Is It Me"...In case it's a question I couldn't answer. I'm not totally sure that this melodic pop song comes from the author of Olias of Sunhillow. Again it's not a bad or a poor song, but things like this can be found in almost every pop-new-wave album of that period. Good vocal performance anyway. Jon's voice sounds very sweet, but the sax in the middle is between Sting and George Michael, just to give you an idea.

"In A Lifetime" starts with a guitar like Roxy Music's Avalon and the melody is of the kind that can be found on the A side of "Private Collection", until the forgettable chorus. So sweet that there's the risk of getting a diabetes.

"For You" gives the idea that he has finished the chords so he's using the same of "Is It Me". Well, it's just two minutes reminding to "Deborah" that's an equivalent song from Private Collection.

"New Civilization" makes a quite good use of the percussions. The things that in general I dislike more in Jon Anderson's albums on this one are the best, probably because are the only remainders of the "normal" Jon Anderson.

"It's On Fire" has at least a signature different from 4/4, but it's totally 80s. Another song that could come from any other pop band of the period. One of the kind: "not totally bad but with nothing appealing for a YES fan".

The lowest moment of the album. "Betcha". You betcha skip it!! Jon, you are not Michael Jackson and MJ fans would not likely buy you. I can't imagine what Weird Al Jankovic could have made of this song if he only knew it...

"Top Of The World" starts symphonic...a bit of YES, finally. It seems that Jon tries to be forgiven for the very bad song that preceeded this one. Well, even this song is not how it seems to promise initially, but it's a YES song of the 80s. Play it within 90125 (an album that I really like). One thing that I'd save from this album.

The last song "Hurry Home" appears like a sort of Christmas Carol forgotten when "3 Ships" was printed. Listen even to this if you survived until this point, but I think your ears have already suffered enough so I suggest putting on Close to the Edge, just to ease your pain.

It's a poor album, but there are at least a couple of songs that can be listened, and Jon's voice is still the same. If you are a fan you may enjoy it at least partially. If not give it up. 1.5 stars. I rate it with two because of "Top Of The World".

octopus-4 | 2/5 |


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