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Anthony Phillips - Anthony Phillips & Joji Hirota: Missing Links, Volume 3 - Time & Tide CD (album) cover


Anthony Phillips

Symphonic Prog

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4 stars Anthony Phillips is a rare bird: he has given us some clever little medieval tunes in the 70s, some pop albums in the 80s, even some classically-tinged music in the 90s. However, "Time and Tide" doesn't fit into any of these categories. Calling it 'progressive' would be stretchting it ; calling it 'rock', even more so. What we have here are snippets of music written for various TV projects and especially for a wildlife documentary entitled "Creatures of the Magic Water". And the music on "Time and Tide" is very fluid indeed. It is made up of 29 instrumentals averaging 2½ minutes each. A word of caution to you progsters if you crave long epics: this is not the kind of concept album to sink your teeth into: more like a box of miniature chocolates you want to savour gently, deliberately, letting each delicate morsel melt slowly into your mouth.

Although all tracks are extremely short, each one is complete in itself and beautifully crafted, creating vivid images of the "Amazonas", "Peruvian Plains", "Underwater Forests", "Blue Lagoons" and other equally enchanted "Sacred Kingdoms" in the listener's mind. The instruments that stand out are Phillips' own keyboards, 12-string guitar and percussion; the flute and the recorder also feature prominently (played by Joji Hirota), as do some occasional Chinese instruments (played by Guo Yue).

If you can appreciate music that is not 'prog' in the strictest sense (or 'rock', for that matter), you'll find this album absolutely charming. And in case you were inclined to think so, there is absolutely NO WAY you can label it as 'New Age': it is far too engaging and absolutely not meant for passive listening. If ever you find the "Private Parts & Pieces" series a little too classically tinged for your tastes, chances are you'll enjoy "Time and Tide". As a prog rock album, it scores 'no star'. As a gem from the deepest recesses of Neptune's underwater kingdom, it shines like four.

Report this review (#25999)
Posted Wednesday, June 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars After a full 2 years of diving into Phillips' discography, (and reeling in a bountiful amount of gems) I've now decided to review EACH Phillips album, in hopes that more people will discover his underground legacy. Now, this quest has just begun, since it takes months (at least!) to have a definite opinion to an album. I remember reading a comment, something on the lines of: 'I don't normally read the first review for a new album, being that it hasn't enough time to fully sink in.' For many of my guilty purchases this last year, (2013) I admit to jumping the gun after reading a few 5 star reviews. Some which are stale, some I know are going to be 'growers'. We're all in a search to find that remarkable album, one you can't compare to much else. Some album that stands alone in the crowded waterways of progressive music today. This is one of them.

When I began my music endeavor, I've listened to every heavy, jazz-tinted rock, crossover album there was. Each highly-praised album excited me, put me through a rhythmic roller-coaster, but I needed a break after a point. It was all too much, with blaring drums and screeching guitars. Even The Snow Goose had its complex, spacey, built-up climaxes. I needed a break, something calming, atmospheric, collective.

I've owned The Geese & The Ghost and thought highly of it, so in some fateful turn of events, I ventured further and found Private Parts and Pieces, Pt. II. After buying the vinyl, I found Slow Dance weeks later. Each album blew me away, (in part thinking, 'Anthony Phillips was playing guitar in Genesis for the first 2 albums, before Genesis really established their signature sound, how could he capture that mythical landscape resembling Hackett-era Genesis in his solo albums?') At least that goes for The Geese & The Ghost, though he contains a medieval tone to many of his albums. I've never heard something so beautiful, or mysterious. (Ex: I Saw You Today, a marvelous song of lost love, seeing her years later, knowing she'll never be yours).

Anthony Phillips captured me, I never knew music could be so real, so emotional. He showed me what music really can do, that it's more than hooks and tempo shifts. How 'human' and natural music can be. I found my sanctity. And I'd recommend anybody to do the same. The Geese & The Ghost isn't all Phillips has to offer. He's a classically-trained pianist, guitarist from birth, and creates a world from his atmospheric synthesizer. Every Private Parts and Pieces album has something special, and his titled album's just the same. Even his compilations of different material he produced (The Missing Links) offers the listener variety and finesse.

Now, enough rambling, back to the album at hand here. Probably my favorite of the 3 Missing Links, (I bought the trilogy-pack containing the first 3 Missing Links CD's for a measly $10) focusing more on an African beat. Rolling bongos, dark synthesizers, keyboard (which creates a wide range of sounds ranging from chimes to an electric violin), and as noted: Mandocello, sakuhachi, chinese flute, all to create a Middle East-African tone to it all. Each song is short and brilliant, never overstaying its welcome. Since this is a compilation of pieces Phillips composed, there's plenty of variety here. Giddy and fun (Fiesta Del Charangos), quiet, introspective (Manatee Garden), ominous but traditional (Shadow Puppet) just to name a few.

I'd never start my Anthony Journey on this album though, Missing Links is deep in his vast discography. You wouldn't start with a band's B-sides, would you? This is just that; a collection of unreleased material placed in library music and television programs. I'd begin with Private Parts and Pieces, Pt. II, Slow Dance, New England, Dragonfly Dreams, or Tarka to hear what Phillips is all about. This is only another gem inside Phillips' (near infinite) discography, and anyone well-acquainted with him already should buy the collection of Missing Links 1-3. Genesis-lovers, Camel-lovers, Eno-ambient-lovers unite!! Everyone enjoys a moment of meditation, relaxation. A time to sit back and reflect. So, give a bit of Time, and Tide (see what I did there??) and let the music sweep you away.

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Posted Wednesday, February 12, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars Third release with missing pieces has multiple layers to offer from meditative/ambient music in the first tracks to guitar- based more conventional pieces.

"Turtle Race" has unusual to its name, fast percussions and quiet synth textures. Some of the tracks have a world-music ,vibe to it: South American "Underway Forest" and "Indio Wedding" and "River Chase", Latin "Fiesta del Charangos", African "African dream", "Bedouin Train",, "Okavanga" and "Sandstorm", Asian "Kalahari", "Songoku", "Schuan Journey", "Slow Boat to China". During the 29 songs on the album, none of this features guitar! It sounds like a soundtrack to documentary film about cultures or exotic animals.

However, the tracks are not too world music oriented so they are easily digestible and at the same time, forgettable.

3 stars but only because of bringing something original into AP's collection, otherwise 2.5 stars.

Report this review (#2242893)
Posted Saturday, August 10, 2019 | Review Permalink

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