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Renaissance - Prologue CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.74 | 441 ratings

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4 stars Scintillating folky psychedelic nuances are recalled on Renaissance`s debut as a newly re-formed band on 1972`s aptly titled Prologue. Virtually devoid of electric guitars and keyboards which were becoming staples of English art rock bands in the early `70s, incandescent fairy tale female vocals accompanied by lavish piano modulations make this one of the most delectable albums to emanate from that era.

Issues of wordless vocals, environmental effects of rolling waves and gulls (on Sounds Of The Sea) and minimulistic use of a variety of percussives such as shakers and bongoes create serene, lofty atmospheres throughout this spirited work. The ghosts of JS Bach and SV Rachmaninov also lurk from time-to-time, complimented by subtle consummate drumming and lucid bass lines that provide smooth rhythmical backdrops. Haslam`s salient, otherworldly vocals illuminate the work and shine with indescribable luminosity whether singing harmonies with bass player Jon Camp or pushing the higher registers on the two incantations which book-end the work. East Indian influences make an appearance on the final piece Rajah Kahn complete with tablas and an electric guitar substituting for the more traditional sitar. A final section of this piece where the electric guitar really makes it`s voice heard may come off to be a bit obstruse at first but actually adds to the dynamics of this neat little prelude and fugue which marries eastern and western sensibilities.

A superb example of early seventies English folk rock with a progressive slant which is much more in league with the male fronted Strawbs or Camel rather than other harder edged contemporary female led bands such as Babe Ruth and Curved Air. Repose in your favourite comfy chair and become lost in the dreamy hypnotic vestiges on one of the most uplifting folk-rock albums of the glorious seventies while marvelling over the spacey cover artwork by Hipgnosis.

Vibrationbaby | 4/5 |


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