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Anthony Phillips - Slow Dance CD (album) cover


Anthony Phillips


Symphonic Prog

4.20 | 211 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Extremely underrated album. By listening to this album it comes as no surprise AP wrote a lot of stuff for TV programmes, some parts could be used for such purposes quite easily especially for nature documentaries. But I don't mean this in a bad way, although the instrumental music would improve by adding images to it, this is highly enjoyable on audio as well. There's not much Phillips albums I like to listen to from start to finish. Most of the albums of AP have some moments of brilliance but are failing in keeping my attention for all the time due to the lack of variety of instrumentation. But this is different. You can hear lots of classical instruments like oboe or harp, a string quartet, flutes and many layers of keyboards. Listening to this album I was wondering if this could be described as rock music in any possible way. Some parts are pure classical, other parts have electronic or new age tendencies but not much rhythm can be found on this album. Often the name of Mike Oldfield comes to mind but Slow Dance is a lot more soft. This is the kind of stuff which listeners can use to set their mind on ease and to dream. Like the title suggests, Slow Dance develops slowly from one mood to another on two sidelong tracks. Every now and then the delicate music swells to an impressive wall of symphonic sound but mostly this is soft and gentle stuff. Still the overall mood is melancholic. You shouldn't guess this is work of a guy who started his career as Genesis' first lead guitarist as the most dominant instrument is the keyboard. This album made a fan of me. Since then I kept on looking for another Phillips album that was on par with "Slow Dance but there really isn't one. "Tarka", "1984" and the two missing links albums show some similarities for the orchestrations and atmospheric sounds. The missing links albums are more fragmented as the several excerpt have no relation to each other. As you can expect "1984" was meant to be cold and sterile. On SD Phillips takes time for an organic, warm sound full of beautiful melodies. 25 minutes is a long time for an instrumental track, but I don't mind if the music is gripping all the time. Still can't believe this instrumental music doesn't bore me for one second ; quite an achievement. Some of the excerpts are suitable to be played on their own. Too bad you are unable to play these sections separately. Although being released in 1990, the sound of the album is timeless capturing many style elements which were used to create a romantic mood somewhat comparable to some of soundtracks of the seventies which were typical for that era. Sometimes these kind of romantic moods are too much for my liking. Still a great album anyway but you definitely have to be in a very quiet mood for this.
Fishy | 5/5 |


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