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Peter Sinfield - Stillusion CD (album) cover


Peter Sinfield

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Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars You have to give credit to Peter Sinfield for having lasted in Crimson as the second longest founding member after Fripp. He was responsible for the Lyrics and the light shows but not an actual musician. Funny as two other Crimson members (McDonald &Giles) will also put out a record with a predominance of pink - instead of Crimson.

However do not expect much in the line of his former band as this is definitely more in the line of a delicate folkish singer/songwriter style. Only Night Peoples will hint at KC but the without the typical crimsonian complexity . The impressive cast of guest musicians might raise your hopes too high. This is pleasant but I never managed to listen to the whole thing at once (I find it relatively dull and the production job not sharp enough).

Report this review (#33418)
Posted Tuesday, December 7, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars (See my review of "Still") I keep this CD because of the two unreleased songs that do not appear on the "Still" CD, and the alternate version of "House of Hopes and Dreams". This version is marred by extremely pronounced high frequencies (perhaps the guy who mastered it had a bad cold?). Of course, if you have an equalizer, you can attenuate the highs, but I feel there's no excuse for the sound quality. Get the Japanese Mini-LP sleeve CD version if you can; it sounds great.
Report this review (#33419)
Posted Wednesday, December 8, 2004 | Review Permalink
erik neuteboom
3 stars What an impressive list of guest musicians including John Wetton, Greg Lake and Mel Collins! I presume that in those days Pete didn't want room for Mr. Fripp.. Anyway, this CD entitled "Stillusion" (great play of words) features the typical Pete Sinfields elements like poetical lyrics and often a cynical undertone. The climates on the 11 compositions are varied. Most are dreamy with a wonderful harmonny of acoustic guitar, flute, strings and the warm, a bit high-pitched voice from Pete. Especially the track "Still" (featuring Greg Lake) is very moving, due to the duo-vocals from Pete and Greg. It's blues and jazz time in "The night people" (slow rhythm and a finale with powerful brass), country in "Will it be you" (the steel guitar and vocals evoke Neil Young) and rock and roll in "Wholefood boogie " (strong heavy guitar from a certain Snuffy). My highlight is the longest composition entitled "Envelopes of yesterday": a strong build-up (beautiful steel-guitar) and a great grand finale delivering fine guitarwork and cynical vocals from Pete. After more than 30 years this album still sounds fresh and inspired.
Report this review (#51922)
Posted Saturday, October 15, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I first came upon this LP very many years ago; I was enthralled then and remain to this day (and most likely far beyond). I have quite a few pressings of this; the Pink LP, Blue LP, Stillusion CD and now the Japanese CD Gatefold 24bit Remaster (these disks are bloody excellent). So one would think that from this list I do have some affinity to the music. My first listen was as a very young impressionable hippy type back in 73, as I had been a King Crimson person I could not believe my luck. This is a gem, one of those rare moments back in the times of real music (don't know where the Prog thing came from) when the convergence of themes times and artistic development, just was there...

This does take some concentration but then what music Peter was involved in does not. Some might think this music lite, I can assure all that this is not the case; Sinfield was (is "Still") an accomplished musician. This music takes time but very worthwhile.

Get the 24bit RCA Victor and just go with it. jim

Report this review (#71307)
Posted Tuesday, March 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Even if some Crimson friends were joining for this single and only Sinfield album, this can hardly be compared to the work of the band.

The mood is very tranquil, almost folkish at times. This version is a re-edition of the original album released some twenty years before and for an unknown reason, the sequence of the songs has been almost completely changed.

Two bonus tracks are available as well: the opener "Can You Forgive A Fool" which is very much pastoral and features some pleasant keys. The second one "Hanging Fire" is a candid and folk acoustic song. Not really what one could have expected while looking at the musicians performing here.

Some jazzy atmosphere for "The Night People" which is the longest track of the album. It features a fine middle part and ends up in some sort of Crimsonesque section. The worse track here being the country style "Will It Be You". Absolutely dispensable. And the rocking "Wholefood Boogie" is no better.

I far much prefer "The Piper" which definitely relates to the soft moments from "In the Court.". Which is also to be noticed in the following track "Under The Sky" featuring some fine fluting and light sax work.

It seems that the best numbers have been placed right one after the other, but late in this running order. The third one in a row being the crescendo-type "Envelopes Of Yesterday". But the best of this album is IMO the very melodic "The Song Of The Sea Goat". A beautiful and sweet piece of music with magnificent flute and superb keyboards. A poignant number. Just as "Still" featuring Lake on vocals.

There are some pleasant moments but nothing from the other world on "Stillusion". No real highlight either (except "Sea Goat"). The album is really saved thanks to its second part.

Three stars.

Report this review (#179376)
Posted Monday, August 11, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars (Note: Stillusion is the same as Still (1973), only with changes in track order and a couple of unreleased but good songs.) As McDonald & Giles (1970), the only album by the ex-lyricist of King Crimson gives the listener glimpses of what that band could have sounded like without Robert Fripp. And indeed in Sinfield's case you can use the word curiosity: where else have you even heard him singing? For those who appreciate KC's darker and edgier side over the soft and romantic side (such as 'I Talk to the Wind' from the debut), probably consider this album spineless and dull. And if it's vice versa, you'll find a very charming pastoral work.

Sinfield's technically uncertain voice (approximately on the same level as Anthony Phillips but far better than Steve Howe as a singer) is warm and tender and it suits nicely to the calmer songs (ie. the majority of the album), but on the rockier ones its restrictions come disturbingly audible. The majestic track 'Still' features the strong vocals of Greg Lake which brings some spine and helps it to become one of the highlights. Album may have a couple of weak songs with a slight country rock flavour, but mostly it's very elegant, sort of feminine in nature, with beautiful, artistic arrangements comparable to that 'I Talk to the Wind' -style King Crimson. The guest list is impressive featuring many KC members (past or present), probably Mel Collins, John Wetton and Greg Lake (the co-producer with Sinfield) more important that over a dozen of others listed. Very recommended for friends of peaceful singer-songwriter stuff with art music elements. By the way, there's a song melodically based on the same Vivaldi concerto section that Steve Howe plays on his second solo album (1979); Sinfield's emotional adaptation works very well.

Report this review (#875757)
Posted Saturday, December 15, 2012 | Review Permalink

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