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Renaissance - Novella CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.80 | 472 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars The end of an era

"Novella" was probably the last truly progressive album by Renaissance, although they would go on to find commercial success with the subsequent "A song for all seasons". As someone who found "Scheherazade" to be an over-ambitious release, for me this is a case of the band being back to what they do best. The album marked Renaissance's move to a major label (Warner Brothers) who must have been delighted with the product they were presented with.

There are just five tracks in total, the opening "Can you hear me" being a 13 minute epic which gives our Annie the chance to display here vocal dexterity in full. The striking orchestration and choral arrangements complement the intricacies of the composition superbly. "The sisters" is a beautiful, slightly understated song with a desperate message.

Side two opens with the albums two shortest tracks. "Midas man" and "The captive heart" are typical Renaissance album tracks. They reflect the quality of both performance and song writing which the band have achieved repeatedly down the years. "Touching once" dominates this side though, and offers another fine if slightly predictable Renaissance epic.

While Michael Dunford and his writing partner Betty Thatcher dominate the writing credits again, John Camp is co-credited with no fewer than 3 of the tracks (and about two thirds of the album), and John Tout one.

An excellent offering from Renaissance who remain more than capable of providing the quality of music others can only aspire to.

Mention also needs to be made of the delightful sleeve, which includes fine illustrations by Pamela Brown (someone should have told her how to spell "Wembley"!) and a band portrait by Amy Tuttle.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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