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Fantasy - Paint A Picture CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.38 | 123 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
2 stars I do have a problem with proto-progressive groups plying their trade in 1973, at a time when prog was at its peak. Fantasy's "Paint a Picture" sounds a lot more like 1967 to me. Of course, at the time there was no such style as proto-prog, and indeed even today we debate the merits of this appellation. To me, it sounds like psychedelic music that overstayed its welcome. While I heard great things about a variety of groups in this genre, none has really lived up to the hype of being "like the Moody Blues, only better". Fantasy is no exception.

Nonetheless the vocals are strong, the songs generally do not overextend themselves, the organs and guitars are crisp, and the group knows how to vary its approaches within a fairly standard rock framework. Highlights are the title cut, the feverish "Politely Insane", "Icy River", and the mythological sounding "Gnome Song". Unfortunately, they can also be quite tedious, as in "Circus", which starts off quite promisingly but becomes unfocused and pedestrian, and is marred by overly heavy guitars. "Thank Christ" and "Young Man's Fortune" are also weak and undistinguished, while "Window" in spite of or perhaps because of the cello, just sounds precious.

This Fantasy paints a picture I have seen too many times already, so loses a half star in the process. Like most proto prog, it's pretty dispensable today, although some will enjoy the bare bones approach.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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