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Illusion - Illusion CD (album) cover

ILLUSION

Illusion

 

Eclectic Prog

3.38 | 56 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars It's a beautiful. . . album

Illusion's name was taken from Renaissance second album, thus confusingly we have two different albums called "Illusion" featuring the same lead singer, Jane Relf.

Illusion's second album is very much a continuation of their first, both in terms of quality and style. The songs on both albums are entirely interchangeable, as they are indeed with the music of Renaissance at that time. (Far from implying any sort of criticism, this is very much a recommendation). That said, the tracks here are a bit longer than this on "Out of the mist", allowing the band to explore slightly more complex, indeed progressive, structures.

The opening track, "Madonna Blue" seems at first to be a melodic but simple piece, but has a song symphonic coda where John Hawken's piano work is a particular feature. "Louis' Theme" is much sparser, even allowing for the orchestration. Relf's vocals here have a haunting quality. "Man of miracles" and "Wings across the sea" also maintain the soft reflective mood.

"Cruising nowhere" is reminiscent of IT'S A BEAUTIFUL DAY's "White Bird", moving at times toward almost trance like territory. The closing track "The revolutionary" is one of the band's most adventurous, starting with a Moody Blues ("Question") like intro prior to some dramatic story telling and a softer middle section. The high pitched male vocal lead can be quite disconcerting at first, but the song weaves its historical tale in a Strawbs (Dave Cousins) like way. (Hawken would in fact later go on to join the Strawbs.)

Those who enjoy the music of Renaissance will find much to appeal the them here. This is a fine melodic album, which features talented musicians at their best. Unfortunately, after this album was released, the band ceased to exist (apart from a brief belated reformation), otherwise they could well have gone on to enjoy the same level of success as Renaissance, Curved Air etc.

The "Out of the mist" CD by Illusion features that album plus this one in full.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |

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