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Renaissance - Novella CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.75 | 394 ratings

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4 stars "Novella" by Renaissance is the band at their creative peak. Everything else that followed it was downhill, although "A Song For All Seasons" still has few gems - "Novella" is Renaissance at their prog, rock best! While its predecessor "Scheherazade and Other Stories" was a noble attempt to fuse orchestra and band, I found it to be a blueprint of ideas and a little too ambitious for its own good(or as the British say: "Twee!"). All those ideas come to fruition perfectly on "Novella". "Novella" has always given me the impression that this was Renaissance's Genesis - "Wind And Wuthering" LP. It has that same kind of mystique about it. The sidelong suite "Can You Hear Me?/Sisters" is reminiscent of the best parts on ELP's "Works Vol.1", while discarding the fluff. "Midas Man" was a minor radio hit in Canada and the U.S.A. but always seems to grow on you like ELP's "Lucky Man", whereas "Lucky Man" had that MOOG..."Midas Man" has a subdued moog and THAT VOICE! The remainder of the album is like a classical/jazz non-rock, which I believe is a showcase for Annie Haslam. Great album and an "almost classic". The vote for the Renaissance classic goes to "Ashes Are Burning", IMHO...but "Novella" is a 2nd best starter if you can't find the aforementioned. Recommended highly.
Gooner | 4/5 |


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