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Art And Illusion - Seasons CD (album) cover


Art And Illusion

Eclectic Prog

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2 stars Probably their highlight. I mean it's the same way boring and badly played and composed as all they've done, but you may happen to like some tunes and pieces here. The best song here is "I know what I like" - somehow they've managed to preserve its atmosphere and didn't ruin the impression...anyway these guys are 100000 miles behind GENESIS' worst efforts. Don't get me wrong , I don't want to hurt anybody...Just face it: ART AND ILLUSION are here BY A TERRIBLE MISTAKE. Not recommended to anybody.Better buy yourself some donuts
Report this review (#106414)
Posted Sunday, January 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars I can hear the argument already: how good can any album be if the band is giving it away for free? In this case better than you might expect, and certainly more worthwhile than some reviewers would have you believe.

It's easily the most polished of the band's three studio albums (all of them available for complimentary download from their web site), if sometimes the least appealing musically. The stripped down simplicity of their earliest efforts (think of an unplugged MARILLION) is missed, replaced here by a polyester-smooth production and the occasional detour into the same ersatz jazzy pop of groups like STEELY DAN.

Elsewhere their sound is lush and romantic, and hardly Italian at all (the songs are all in English). But this was always a band that took unabashed pride in its role models: chiefly GENESIS and solo PETER GABRIEL, filtered through a warm Neo-Prog sieve.

Never mind the more commercial pap ("Shadowspell"; "Still") and concentrate on the better cuts: the album opener "Seven Seasons", with its groovy 12-string guitar intro and unexpected ambient fade-out; the lilting acoustic folk-pop of "Springtime Again!"; and "Reflections", one of several numbers with a rhythm track that wouldn't sound out of place on a PETER GABRIEL album. There's even a decent cover of the early GENESIS hit "I Know What I Like", a throwback to their days as a tribute album group-for-hire.

Apparently Art and Illusion began its life as a hard-working Prog cover band, playing old GENESIS chestnuts at a time when Phil Collins and company were touring sold-out stadiums around the world (with inferior music). To which I can only say three cheers for the struggling underdog, especially one with enough faith in its own music to give it away free on-line.

Report this review (#218991)
Posted Saturday, May 30, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars "Seasons" has been spun over and over again in my bedroom over the past few months. It is a very nice record with some great songs. There is nothing groundbreaking here, but the album is a very pleasant and easy listen. The influences of this band are evident, but there is a lot of originality here, particularly in the overall sound and production. The songwriting in the album is fairly standard; there is very little here that hasn't been done before, but their is still an air of mystery in these songs that I personally look for in prog music. The band is tight and the musicians are all pretty good. Luca Sabia has a nice voice, pleasant to listen to, but a little weak in a few spots on the album.

My favourite tracks on the album are "Seven seasons", "(Livin') borrowed time" and "Strange little baby". "Seven Seasons" is a fresh sounding prog track, and has a rather dark sound. The song concludes with a climatic and uplifting ending. "(Livin') borrowed time" is my personal favourite track on the album. It is catchy and has some great melodies. "Strange little baby" is another great track. It is a catchy prog song and is not overly complicated, something that I appreciate about this album.

I would generally give an album like this a 3 star rating, but I feel that "Seasons" has earned my fourth star. I have listened to this album MANY MANY TIMES, and I think that this is because I love this album's honest and raw nature. The album is free from the extravagance that most progressive rock seems to accommodate, yet there is still something that I find very mysterious in the music. I recommend this album to those who are looking for a musical experience that is unique and honest.

"Seasons" gets a 4 star rating from me.


Report this review (#906519)
Posted Tuesday, February 5, 2013 | Review Permalink

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