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Jon Anderson - The Promise Ring CD (album) cover


Jon Anderson


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2.55 | 57 ratings

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2 stars What a quandry! Two stars or three stars for this album?

I suppose I really should start out by trying to define what my quandry is. The Promise Ring is a solo album by Jon Anderson that features Celtic sounding songs played by competent musicians. So this should interest those people who like prog folk. A weird genre, it is true, but groups like Fairport Convention and The Pentangle have managed to make some great music in it. (Don't get me started on Jethro Tull. You'd be happier not hearing my opinion.)

Anyhow, back to my review. OK, this is not bad, but the thing about it is that it's all so damn happy. Yes, the album is slickly produced with good musicians. Yes, Jon delivers an above average (even for him) vocal performance. Yes, this is just barely proggish. But all of this happy positiveness is suffocating.

The last track is O'er. Jon reuses this as much as Yes reuses Roundabout (or maybe even more.) So it's quite possible that you heard this on Animation or on Yes's Open Your Eyes release or live. It's a good tune and it sure is cool that Jon came up with it through lucid dreaming. But when I tell you that it is the LEAST positive tune on The Promise Ring, you should shudder.

Anyhow, here is how I resolved the 2 or 3 star rating dilemna. I looked up the ratings that I gave to other Anderson albums. I gave Three Ships and Song of Seven 2 stars. That's probably about where this one belongs.

Anyhow, this is ok. If you like prog folk or like Jon's music, you will probably enjoy this. But don't expect in any way a masterpiece.

ghost_of_morphy | 2/5 |


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