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Renaissance - Novella CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.75 | 394 ratings

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5 stars My favorite album from one of my favorite prog bands. "Can You Hear Me?" followed by "The Sisters" comprise, IMHO, one of those rare events in music: a perfect side. (Side A from the vinyl LP). And prog at its very finest. "CYHM?" has one of those unforgettable intros Tout et al are so known for and "Sisters" has, next to "A Trip to the Fair" (Sheherezade And other Tales), my favorite Annie Haslam work along with those incredibly effective horns and the wonderful Spanish guitar phrases. An amazing piece of music! I enjoy John Tout's original work so well and the spaces and the prominent acoustic guitars make this such a timeless collection of songs. And then, of course, you have Annie---the most beautiful voice ever to grace the grooves of prog music---here sounding very relaxed, yet mature and confident. Though "The Captive Heart" and even "Midas Man" both lack something---a vocal or melodic hook, if you will---they are so well performed, mixed and produced (at least on the CD I'm listening to these days) that I can be a bit forgiving. Also, "Touching Once" is lacking some lyrical power but musically the construction is definitive prog and contains absolutely mesmerizing interweaving of all band members with orchestra. (Love those horns, strings and choir after the Peral-Jam-stolen guitar cord progression at the 5:35 mark.)

A definitive album also for the subteleties which, IMO, are what distinguish prog: the fact that the music demands and deserves close and repeated listening. Music shouldn't have to bang you over the head to get your attention. IMHO, "Novella" is one of Prog's finest if final moments; one of the top 50 prog LPs of all-time.

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |


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