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Anthony Phillips - Private Parts & Pieces IV - A Catch At The Tables CD (album) cover


Anthony Phillips

Symphonic Prog

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Honorary Collaborator
4 stars He is the king of the 12 string acoustic guitar! On this record, he put some color to his guitar parts, adding many floating keyboards strings, good bass and sequenced drums (drumbox). "Earth Man" is so relaxing with its 12-string guitar and the loud floating strings of keyboards. One of his best of the "Private Parts & Pieces" series.

We feel here that Anthony PHILLIPS has some talent to make New Age albums, like his wonderful "1984".

Report this review (#25967)
Posted Wednesday, April 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars On this fourth leg of his « Private Parts », Anthony is surrounded by a couple of artist which are not providing lots of support, I'm afraid.

Still, this album is varied and offers some nice keyboards parts which convey a definite symphonic atmosphere to the whole. But this is album is vastly dominated by the acoustic guitar; which has not always been the case with Anthony (remember "1984").

Most of his eighties production will be dedicated to these "Private Parts". Some are much better than others (my fave by far is the second one). I guess that it might be better for the casual fan to grab "Harvest Of The Year" which is a compilation of the first four ones than to investigate in each of them. At least I feel so.

Three stars for this fourth one because it is at times poignant but it usually lacks in great pieces of music.

Report this review (#531705)
Posted Saturday, September 24, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Another (along with Back To The Pavilion) extraordinary example of a genuine concept album under the rubric of Private Parts & Pieces. Moreover, unlike Back To The Pavilion, this one is modestly, almost beggarly performed by acoustic guitar (mostly soloing), some electronic percussion (mostly pre-programmed) and some simple (if not primitive) synth passages, i.e. the instrumentation is overall quite minimalist if not poor. So, no idea how this album manages to make an impression of complex and sophisticated concept work. But it does. It really makes such an impression. For example, Arboretum Suite in four parts is not even camouflaged as a genuine sympho prog epic, it's performed as a bunch of guitar exercises... but perceived as an epic. Of course the album cannot be considered a masterpiece, but it's unique in its own way.
Report this review (#1057381)
Posted Thursday, October 10, 2013 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
2 stars Earth man

The fourth entry in Anthony Phillips' Private Parts & Pieces-series is a bit more towards New-Age territory compared to its more or less purely Classical predecessor. The sound is still mostly dominated by acoustic guitars, but this time there are also some synthesisers and drum machines co-existing with Ant's typical acoustic guitar playing which makes the whole thing a bit more varied instrumentally. The track Earth Man even goes all the way towards purely electronic music, bringing to mind the works of Vangelis. Bouncer is in a higher tempo than most tunes in the Private Parts & Pieces-series and is another decent number. The almost 11 minute Dawn Over The Lake is however a tedious and overly long piece.

Like most albums in the series, Private Parts & Pieces IV: A Catch At The Tables is almost completely instrumental. There is however one vocal number in Sistine.

Overall, this is a decent collection of mostly relaxing tunes that I find moderately enjoyable even if some passages are downright boring. I prefer this album over the first Private Parts & Pieces album as well as over Private Parts & Pieces III: Antiques, but it is still inferior to Private Parts & Pieces II: Back To The Pavilion.

Recommended only for fans and collectors of Anthony Phillips in general and the Private Parts & Pieces- series in particular

Report this review (#1135198)
Posted Saturday, February 22, 2014 | Review Permalink
2 stars A mixed bag of acoustic classical music and symphonic synth coloured music. Arboretum suite is an elaborate piece starting acoustically and moving to a keyboard-drive final part.

"Earth man" is another highlight with dominant synths, not unsimilar to the 1984 album.

"Down over the lake" offers acoustic strumming which is not varied and drum box add to being quite monotonous - at the same time, the track clocks at over 10 minutes.

"Bouncer" features classical guitar with changed colour and terrible drum pattern that contradicts baroque music. "Eduardo" fixes the mood by focusing on an acoustic guitar duo showcasing instrumental abilities. "Heart of darkness" is the most symphonic piece with a nice sequence of synth chords.

A good but unfocused effort and not much to be found for a progressive listener.

Report this review (#2242787)
Posted Saturday, August 10, 2019 | Review Permalink

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