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Renaissance - Scheherazade and Other Stories CD (album) cover

SCHEHERAZADE AND OTHER STORIES

Renaissance

 

Symphonic Prog

4.31 | 1304 ratings

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FalconBleck
5 stars #49th Review

This was my gateaway to this band, if you have heard it already you'll probably know how i feel.

A Trip to the Fair 8/10 This track got me into this album, the beginning with those very low russian chords, and that fast pace, the voices, its the beginning of an story, but more than that, for me this is the track that goes the closest to being like Genesis's Musical Box, i've wanted to feel something similar as that song for a while, and many have done something, but not quite like this one. This song feels older than it is, but also very innocent, i like the story that's being told and the sense of movement that the piano playing gives. This song has a very interesting solo that goes more into soft jazz territory, and i really dig it as it is, ofcourse the bass is superb here, if there's something that this song gave me as a first impression is that this band has all the bases covered.

I'll sadly rest 2 points, because of weird voice inflection on "trip to the faaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiir" and repetition, this is still one of my favorites, but i think that this could've been a little better.

Vultures Fly High 9/10 This is the shortest song... and is as impressive as the other ones, i absolutely love the chords here and those bass lines. This has a faster tempo and its very energetic, i enjoy every moment that it repeats too, but if that wasn't enough, this track has an small solo, and its beautyful, i live for stuff like that... I think that the only downside is that this small idea wasn't developed further, i can't imagine how... this could've been integrated into something else probably and this part would've been remarkable if that was the case.

Ocean Gipsy 9/10 This ballad is amazing, love the chords and sounds, but specially the voice... the lyrics also help a lot, this track is a classic. I wasn't sold at first, if the song was just the chorus, but the way that the chorus ends "turn to gold" has a chord that i love. Although it may seem simple, as it is a ballad, the song keeps adding more to do for the instruments, so this is on another level. This piece also features a beautyful piano solo, that adds what this song needed to be one of my favorites, and the ending, that's very sad, but its perfect. There's something missing, but that is featured on the Scherezade song, every time i listen to the solo i expect a certain section that its actually not here.

Song of Scheherazade 10/10 This is a giant song with 9 sections, of wich many are instrumentals... i won't talk for each section specifically.

The introduction to this has a pretty serious attitude to it with those chords, but then it goes into full on adventure mode, the bass really does a fine job here, its like the begin of a movie. As the piece progresses i feel like we're getting introduced to a heroic character and then the rythm becomes tame, now we're introducing royalty with our first lyrics.

For this section i'll shoutout the chorus, i find it mesmerizing, everything is perfect but the many voices seal the deal... and the brass instruments, the transition from this section to "She says Scheherazaaaaaade" is incredible and that phrase gets repeated through the song somehow never losing how intense it sounds although its just shouting the name of the protagonist.

I just love the transition from orchesta to a lonely keyboard, and what the keyboard plays here its so beautyful, it made me tear up a little, somehow the piece becomes even more beautyful after this, if you weren't convinced at this point that this song is special then i don't know what will, probably the voice of an angel... wich happens to be the next section! This entire section is beautyful, but the ending is perfect, i sometimes listen to this song until this point "He will learn to love her for the rest of his life", i wish to marry some day, and to feel that everyday.

Then there's a lovely eastern night ambience that leads to the re-telling... I love the participation of every instrument and sound in this section, even the smallest contributions, i ofcourse saw the "la la la la" part coming a mile away, i really didn't want it to happen, but it was inevitable, yet after that, the song goes different ways and surpasses my expectatives like twice.

The piece gets chill, like a peaceful night, but then those very low chords appear, its time for another increasing scale, and a reprise of everything i have loved so far, but with a twist, this is were the prog rock kicks in hard, with some intrincate time changes, i love Annie's inflections here, mostly when she is not doing those weird time signature parts... and then reprise, "told the tales of sultans, talismans and rings..." love this line, and the chorus comes in the most epic way, this is the end of this story, there's a glorious chord change and Annie does a very high note, absolutely remarkable... and i expected the song to continue!

This is such a remarkable song, i have listened to it every day for more than two weeks now since i discovered it, this cemented my love for this band, i feel like i arrived too late for this, but at the same time, i feel as if i've listened to this my whole life.

In conclusion, this band is one of my mains now, and this album a must, this completely deserves the 5 stars, without a doubt. Go listen to it right now!

FalconBleck | 5/5 |

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