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Renaissance - Azure d'Or CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.03 | 225 ratings

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Prog-Folk Team
2 stars After the storm of delights that was "A Song for All Seasons", Renaissance stood at a new crossroads, the prog movement a year older and practically comatose. Keeping producer David Hentschel seemed like a good idea as he had really helped revitalize their sound. "A Song" had contained a blend of both short and long pieces, not unusual for the band, except that the scales tipped in favour of the abbreviated for the first time. Rather than stay with that balance, they opted to go with 10 short tracks. If they had remembered to go back to the well for inspiration, the decision might have worked. By and large, the ashes were completely cold by this point.

Other than the sneering "Jeckyll and Hide", the mini epic "Golden Key", and the wondrous folk of "Kalynda", the band seem to have lost their ample songwriting and arranging instincts. Songs like "The Flood at Lyons" are literally sunk by over use of synthesizers and a remarkable lack of melodic development, and "Friends", "Winter Tree" and "Forever Changing" are simply beyond the banal. For the most part I keep waiting for the trademark magic but am overcome with disappointment. "Discovery" is an instrumental with a few hot passages and "Only Angels Have Wings" is interesting in its totally synthetic accompaniment but also twee as can be.

The band needed a break after this no question, the heyday of their unbroken string of artistic and commercial success coming to a sudden and final halt. Avoid.

kenethlevine | 2/5 |


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