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Renaissance - Dreams & Omens  CD (album) cover



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3 stars For sure it's difficult to evaluate an important live concert like the present one (dated 1978), where the monophonic mix, as well as their first turning point of their career (culminating into the disappointing "Azure D'or" ), seem to make us express a controversial opinion about it!

Don't get me wrong, Annie's voice is clear as usual and in general the sound of the best ensemble of Renaissance as well; but here the mix of the bass guitar is bad (perhaps can you hear it?), being almost missing and- moreover- They have not included any symphonic track from "Turn of the cards" (with the exception of "Things I Don't Understand"), "Scheherazade" and also the majority of "A Song for All Seasons"...well this is the point, this latter album issued on the same period, was a perfect balance between the commercial ballads such as "Northern Lights" and the symphonic suite of the title track, of which there's no trace in the present live act . You can find the main songs from "Novella", played in a remarkable manner as usual, but their attempt to achieve a wider audience is clearly evident when you listen to "Northern Lights" (otherwise already used for a tv-series in the UK), an hit single in that period, where their new mood began to grow...Unfortunately their best folk-symphonic period ended after the issue of "Novella" (dated 1977) and here (despite of their good execution concerning "Day of the Dreamer", the second track inside "A Song for All..."), their stuff is not enough to know the best Renaissance" (otherwise is a very short audio cd- 47 minutes long, which is not completely representative of the band) and at the end you lose the acoustic guitar a bit and the bass guitar too much...nevermind, cause the duo represented by John Tout at the keyboards and Annie Haslam with her magic fascination and her clear voice, makes this "Dreams & Omens" worth checking out at least!!

Perhaps, by means of a great sound engineer like for instance Terry Brown, the final output as well as the quality of the recording should be completely different...but such defect cannot erase the grandeur of a legendary band, which became a controversial group only in the late seventies/early eighties!!

Report this review (#279118)
Posted Friday, April 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars My relationship with Renaissance can only be described as the relationship between a dog and sausages. In other words, I love them.

........ Although my love for them is put on trial on this live album. A live album from 2008 containing some live tracks from 1978 from a gig in the USA. My love for them is mostly based on their longer tracks where the tangents get free reign in a combination with Annie Haslam's fantastic voice. She is probably the best vocalist prog rock has ever witnessed.

........ Those long tracks is mostly omitted from this album. This live album is mostly based on shorter vocals based tracks and does not really proves why the rest of the band is such a great band. Hence, I am drinking this album in.......... but I am still thirsty.

But the quality is good throughout. That also goes for the sound quality. There is nothing wrong with this album. But there is nothing great on this album too. It is just a run through of their more shorter songs and a forewarning of things to come.

3 stars

Report this review (#292113)
Posted Tuesday, July 27, 2010 | Review Permalink

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