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Anthony Phillips - Private Parts & Pieces VIII - New England CD (album) cover


Anthony Phillips

Symphonic Prog

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4 stars One of the better of his PP & P collection, lots of excellent guitar work throughout; probably one the best examples of Ant's 12 string work. He's released quite a few albums since '77 geese and the Ghost, this is in his top ten.
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Posted Sunday, January 25, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars I feel sorry for the fan who's an Anthony Phillips "completist"; it's obvious that any poor devil who buys every album that Ant puts out has no discretionary income left over, because there are seemingly hundreds available. This is one that stands out from the crowd. I have owned or heard maybe twelve or fifteen or twenty (???) over these many years since "The Geese and the Ghost" first appeared, including many progressive and some commercial efforts. This one ain't perfect, but it has quite a few keepers on it.
Report this review (#25991)
Posted Wednesday, January 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars 10/10 Masterpiece

This is ridiculous! This album came out of nowhere for me, and has become a landmark in my collection. Each and every track on here is drenched with passion and emotion. The tracks are almost incomprehensibly good, some of which may make you cry a bit. This album almost tops "Geese" for me, but I can never really pick a favorite. Pay close attention to the New England Suite, Unheard Cry and Pieces of Eight. These songs along with the rest of the album have such an incredible mood to them that it is hard to listen to this on any old day. This album WILL change your mood, you may forget about your worries and drift away into a peice of Ant's thoughts. This album is pretty far removed from the album just before, "Slow Dance", and I much prefer the choice of any synth on this album. Both fantastic, but Ant returns to his true mastery here.

This album is incredible, buy it as soon as possible, sit back and relax to the sound of perfect music.

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Posted Saturday, October 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars The best Private Parts & Pieces album!

For those who might have followed my series of reviews of Anthony Phillips' Private Parts & Pieces albums, you will have noticed that I am not a big fan of these albums. Many of these albums focus on only a single aspect of Phillips' diverse artistic ambition and skill, and some of them even focus on only a single instrument (most commonly the acoustic guitar, but sometimes piano or synthesisers). This observation can not without justification be extended to Phillips' discography as a whole with albums in many styles including Classical music, Pop Rock, New-Age, Folk, ambient/electronic, etc.

Private Parts & Pieces VIII: New England stands out for me, however, in pooling the respective strengths of some of the previous albums in the series. Like on many previous Private Parts & Pieces albums we have here again some acoustic guitar pieces, some piano pieces, and even a couple of vocal numbers, but the compositions are stronger this time around. It does not just feel like Ant strumming away on his guitar, but that he actually took care to perform some carefully crafted material. There is also a nicer flow to this album that makes it feel like an organic whole instead of just a collection of independent pieces like most other Private Parts & Pieces albums very often do. New England is in many respects Phillips' most consistent album, at least since 1981's conceptual 1984 album (which is very different from the present album in style).

For this album, Ant has relaxed the synthesisers, but alternates between stringed acoustic instruments (mostly guitar, but also some lovely mandolin) and piano. There are several guests appearing on some interesting instruments, some of which are more "exotic" than others, but all of which add to the diversity of the sound palette of the album.

Much of this album, like the three-part title suite for instance, reminded me of Amazing Blondel in its soft melodic approach and Medieval-flavoured, folky, acoustic nature. Other parts are more Classical, some experimental, and yet others are towards easy-listening. The ten plus minute Sunrise And Sea Monsters is an odd fusion of jazzy easy-listening with more experimental passages.

One of Anthony Phillips' more enjoyable albums

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Posted Wednesday, February 26, 2014 | Review Permalink

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