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Renaissance - Novella CD (album) cover

NOVELLA

Renaissance

 

Symphonic Prog

3.74 | 377 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I was not any longer with "Renaissance" in 1977. So, I discovered this album much, much later.

It is often tempting to recreate a great album. To conserve old fans, to be praised by the critics (although.) and maybe to get new ones (fans, I mean).

While you listen to "Can You Hear Me", it sounds as if it comes straight out of the great "Sheherazade.". It is amazing how well the band copes with orchestrations, classical passages and wonderful vocals of course. I have always admire Annie.

This band has lots of things I usually don't like (see above) in their style, but when I listen to them; I can't help : I just like the combination. Don't ask me why because I have no clue. The great opening track (Can You Hear Me) is absolutely on par with the best numbers out of their previous album. Did you say symphony? The highlight here.

The only thing I could reproach to "Renaissance" with this album is probably the lack of inventiveness, innovation. But lots of bands (the majority) are encapsulated into a specific style. "Renaissance" is just another one them. But so pleasant, so unique.

The good (but not excellent, let's be honest) "The Sisters", almost comes out of the same mould. Somewhat more melancholic and less inspired probably. The work on the Spanish guitar towards the end is an excellent addition but the closing part might appear as a soundtrack. I can understand that some people might get irritated by the pompous aspect of these "Sisters".

As usual, Annie's voice is magical (but I'm biased). She IS the reference for many female vocalists (mainly in the prog-folk genre). And that's only justice. She turns an average song ("Midas Man") into a good one. But there is nothing to do with "The Captive Heart". Mellowish to death. The first (and only) poor song from this album (and the shortest one as well).

The band gets back to better intentions with the closing and long "Touching Once". But this track is not as good as the brilliant ""Can You Hear Me". Too pastoral, uninspired. Still, as a whole this album is another good "Renaissance" effort.

Three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |

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