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Renaissance - The Other Woman CD (album) cover

THE OTHER WOMAN

Renaissance

 

Symphonic Prog

2.03 | 48 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Annie Haslam, wherefore art thou?!

"The other woman" isn't a bad album, but since Stephanie Adlington is the other woman and she doesn't sound like Annie Haslam, this doesn't sound like a Renaissance album.

This version of Renaissance, or to give them their full title Michael Dunford's Renaissance, bears little resemblance to the band which recorded the classic symphonic prog albums of the 70's. Dunford himself is quoted as saying that the album turned out to be more rock than he anticipated. Consequently for their next album, "Ocean gypsy", he reverted to acoustic versions of Renaissance "standards".

Back to "The other woman" though. and In truth it is more pop rock than rock, let alone prog. It is perhaps unfair to compare any vocalist with the five octave talents of Annie Haslam, but this album does invite such comparisons. Apart from the apparent reference in the title to the change of singer, there are two tracks here which Haslam has also sung. "Love lies, love dies" was one of the standout tracks on her solo album "Blessing in disguise", and "Northern lights", probably Renaissance best know song.

It must be said that Adlington is unquestionably a fine singer. Dunford came across her at recording sessions for a musical featuring lyrics by long term Renaissance lyricist Betty Thatcher-Newsinger. Her voice is very stage show orientated, being powerful and rich, but it is not necessarily suited to rock music. "Northern lights" was the first song she recorded with Dunsford. The version here is slightly faster than the "Song for all seasons" original. Most of the tracks on "The other woman" are prosaic female vocal songs, ranging from the pure pop of Polly Brown and Pickettywitch, to the multi-tracked harmonies of Abba, and occasionally of Sonja Kristina (Curved Air). The opening "Déjà vu" for example is light pop with little to distinguish it, save perhaps the decent guitar break. Instrumentally the album also falls short, with too much dominance being given to the rather poor keyboard sounds which have a distinctly home made feel.

The album has a number of softer pop ballads, but even here there is a lack of originality and a sameness to them; they are pleasant enough but far from memorable.

In all, a disappointing collection of anonymous songs with nothing to set them apart in a saturated market. A Renaissance album in name only.

Footnote - When this album was originally listed on this site, Betty Thatcher-Newsinger was listed as Betty Thatcher - New Singer. (As opposed to Annie Haslam - Old Singer!).

Easy Livin | 2/5 |

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