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Anthony Phillips - Private Parts & Pieces II - Back To The Pavillion CD (album) cover


Anthony Phillips


Symphonic Prog

3.78 | 111 ratings

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3 stars Come 1980 and Phillips would again return to the memories of the past, releasing an album with compositions originally written for other projects and some leftovers from the ''Wise after the event'' sessions.The album was titled ''Private parts & pieces II: Back to the Pavilion'' and was originally released for the US label Passport in June.Phillips is the main figure on this work, playing electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards, piano and singing, while his only regular assistant was ex-King Crimson drummer Andy McCulloch.Mike Rutherford appears on bass on ''Scottish suite'', Rob Phillips plays the oboe on ''Von Runkel's Yorker music'' and Mel Collins enters in ''Tremulous'' with his flute.

Special mention should be given to the 15-min. excellent opening ''Scottish suite'', described by Phillips as ''a collection of Scottish Salmon farmer's songs and 12th century Paraguayan tin-miner's threnodies''.This belongs among Phillips' most genuine, sophisticated and progressive compositions, a meld of late-70's Symphonic Rock with bucolic British Folk, dominated by excellent handling of classical guitars, dark keyboard flavors and melodious symph-based textures in an all instrumental majesty very close to his days with GENESIS, at least during the acoustic lines.Definitely a highlight of his career with a nice balance between acoustic themes and electric energy and a charming combination of dramatic and gentle musicianship.Cut off the ''dramatic'' and ''electric'' words from the previous description to follow the storyline of the rest of the album, which is filled with romantic piano lines, acoustic crescendos and embryonic pre-New Age flashes with Phillips being the absolute officer, passing through stylistic variations, which have all in common the mood for sentimental, heavily acoustic and ethereal soundscapes.The material here is not bad at all, but falls short compared to the impressive opening opus.This comes indeed as a collection of short pieces and different sources of inspiration with Folk, Classical and minimalistic Music as the guidelines, leading to instrumental isolation, always led by Phillips' lovely tunes and accomplished skills on guitar and keyboards, but leaving much to be desired regarding a richer and more progressive side.

An uneven release, which somehow manages to keep a high level of musicianship.Maybe too mellow and experimental for the casual prog listener, but the acoustic tracks have a nice and attractive atmosphere, while ''Scottish suite'' is a real stunner and a good enough reason to purchase the album.Recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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