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Renaissance - Songs from Renaissance Days CD (album) cover

SONGS FROM RENAISSANCE DAYS

Renaissance

 

Symphonic Prog

2.28 | 42 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Joolz
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Songs From Renaissance Days is a collection of material that never made it onto a studio album. It was never intended as a mainstream release, and should therefore be approached as a bonus. One track - Island Of Avalon - was recorded in 1979 when John Tout and Terry Sullivan were still in the band. The remainder originated from the early 1980s when the core threesome of Annie Haslam, Michael Dunford and Jon Camp were joined by a variety of assistants.

Considering its genesis this is not a bad album at all. Many of the songs are of the standard of Camera Camera and in many cases are superior to most of Time-Line. There is good and bad though. Africa begins with clichéd African tribal sounds and rhythms before heading off onto an averagely nice song; Dreamaker is a pleasant lullaby-like ballad; Northern Lights is a new-wave version of the old hit single; No Beginning No End is very good Abba-pop; Only When I Laugh enters Diva territory with a slow ballad; The Body Machine is lively new-wave pop; Writer Wronged is a beautiful song with a sublime flute solo; Island Of Avalon jangles along spiritedly with the help of Tout and Sullivan; America is an average rendition of Paul Simon's classic; finally, You is a true mini-mini-epic of old style Renaissance but stuffed full to the gills with wall-to-wall synths.

Clearly, the band were investigating the options at this time, though I don't hear any punk .... ! Not a lot of Prog either really, nor much old piano-and-orchestra-and-acoustic-guitars symphonic Renaissance, but at least Annie is still here trying to make sense of it all without all the silly vocal affectations she adopted on Time-Line, and Dunford's acoustic guitars make their presence felt occasionally amidst predominantly synth based arrangements. Overall, the kind of album that would appeal to someone who enjoys the soft-rock of Camera Camera or pop of Time-Line. Everyone else should beware.

Joolz | 2/5 |

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