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Renaissance The Other Woman album cover
2.10 | 81 ratings | 8 reviews | 2% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1994

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Deja Vu (4:46)
2. Love Lies, Love Dies (5:00)
3. Don't Talk (3:55)
4. The Other Woman (5:20)
5. Lock In on Love (4:55)
6. Northern Lights (4:23)
7. So Blase (4:48)
8. Quicksilver (4:28)
9. May You Be Blessed (1:56)
10. Somewhere West of Here (6:11)

Total Time 45:42

Line-up / Musicians

- Stephanie Adlington / lead & backing vocals
- Michael Dunford / acoustic guitar
- Stuart Bradbury / electric & classical guitars
- Andy Spillar / keyboards, programming, arrangements, co-producer
- Phil Mulford / bass
- Dave Dowle / drums

- Rory Wilson / electric guitar (8)

Releases information

Artwork: Ten Eighty Seven with Peter & Sue Self (design) and Barry Markham (photo)

CD HTD Records ‎- HTDCD27 (1994, UK)
CD Sanctuary Records ‎- 06076-81142-2 (2002, US)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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RENAISSANCE The Other Woman ratings distribution

(81 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(2%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(4%)
Good, but non-essential (20%)
Collectors/fans only (44%)
Poor. Only for completionists (30%)

RENAISSANCE The Other Woman reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Blacksword
2 stars I'm no expert on Renaissance, but I'm guessing this album may be a square peg in a round hole as far as their catalogue goes. I bought it sometime ago on the strength of the wonderful 'Northern lights' an uplifting song with touching lyrics. Betty Thatcher sings and although she has a good voice, the overal package of 'The other woman' is a gloomy collection of drippy, dreary love songs about rejection. The whole thing is tediously self indulgent and sounds like Kate Bush may have done had she undergone an imagination and creativity bypass. Thankfully KB didn't! On a positive note, the playing and production are of a high standard but I cant listern to this without yawning myself into a stuper. 'Northern lights' is the saving grace of this album.
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Annie Haslam, wherefore art thou?!

"The other woman" isn't a bad album, but since Stephanie Adlington is the other woman and she doesn't sound like Annie Haslam, this doesn't sound like a Renaissance album.

This version of Renaissance, or to give them their full title Michael Dunford's Renaissance, bears little resemblance to the band which recorded the classic symphonic prog albums of the 70's. Dunford himself is quoted as saying that the album turned out to be more rock than he anticipated. Consequently for their next album, "Ocean gypsy", he reverted to acoustic versions of Renaissance "standards".

Back to "The other woman" though. and In truth it is more pop rock than rock, let alone prog. It is perhaps unfair to compare any vocalist with the five octave talents of Annie Haslam, but this album does invite such comparisons. Apart from the apparent reference in the title to the change of singer, there are two tracks here which Haslam has also sung. "Love lies, love dies" was one of the standout tracks on her solo album "Blessing in disguise", and "Northern lights", probably Renaissance best know song.

It must be said that Adlington is unquestionably a fine singer. Dunford came across her at recording sessions for a musical featuring lyrics by long term Renaissance lyricist Betty Thatcher-Newsinger. Her voice is very stage show orientated, being powerful and rich, but it is not necessarily suited to rock music. "Northern lights" was the first song she recorded with Dunsford. The version here is slightly faster than the "Song for all seasons" original. Most of the tracks on "The other woman" are prosaic female vocal songs, ranging from the pure pop of Polly Brown and Pickettywitch, to the multi-tracked harmonies of Abba, and occasionally of Sonja Kristina (Curved Air). The opening "Déjà vu" for example is light pop with little to distinguish it, save perhaps the decent guitar break. Instrumentally the album also falls short, with too much dominance being given to the rather poor keyboard sounds which have a distinctly home made feel.

The album has a number of softer pop ballads, but even here there is a lack of originality and a sameness to them; they are pleasant enough but far from memorable.

In all, a disappointing collection of anonymous songs with nothing to set them apart in a saturated market. A Renaissance album in name only.

Footnote - When this album was originally listed on this site, Betty Thatcher-Newsinger was listed as Betty Thatcher - New Singer. (As opposed to Annie Haslam - Old Singer!).

Review by Joolz
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The Other Woman is Renaissance in name only, the connection being Michael Dunford, longtime songwriter, arranger and acoustic guitarist, and lyricist Betty Thatcher [now called Newsinger]. All music is written by Dunford/Thatcher-Newsinger, and Dunford plays acoustic guitar on some tracks but otherwise plays a background role like he did in the early 1970s. All other musical roles are taken by Renaissance newcomers, including American singer Stephanie Adlington who boldly faced the sceptics who believed that 'Renaissance Is Annie Haslam'. Well, given the music bears little relation to the classic Renaissance cocktail of orchestrated melodic mini-epics, the absence of Ms Haslam is not really an issue. Indeed, by all accounts Adlington does a very good job.

Her material is hardly the stuff to get Haslam or Prog fans overly excited though, as it mostly veers between the diva country of schmaltzy soft-rock crooning and harder edged classic rock, sometimes with slightly more adventurous twists. None is particularly complex or original, and so Prog fans shouldn't worry about missing out on a lost gem, but otherwise it is rather good in places if you can get past the implications and history of the name.

The harder rock tracks work best. These include energetic opener Deja Vue, the excellent Don't Talk with its strange vocal twists and guitar solo, and Somewhere West Of Here which begins as an ordinary song before changing tack with a very good instrumental coda, finishing off with a musical quote of Northern Lights. Of the others, So Blasé is interesting for its strangeness, Quicksilver is a friendly rock song but nothing special, Love Lies Love Dies, May You Be Blessed and Lock In On Love are tedious slow love songs, and title track The Other Woman is poor in all respects. Which leaves old favourite The Northern Lights - Stephanie struggles to cope with Annie's phrasing but otherwise it's quite a successful rendition.

Something of a 'curate's egg' then - good in parts! Only the excellent Somewhere West Of Here comes close to Prog Related, but it and Don't Talk are clear stand-outs in an otherwise average set of AOR numbers.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Interesting release, as long as you are not expecting anything like their classics, as I actually did. Stphanie Adlington is a trmendous singer that does not try to emulate Annie Haslam, which is quite wise. In fact, she has her very own style and is capable of handling all the early Renaissance songs (hear the acoustic Ocean Gypsy live album and see for yourself).

The album is surely very different and has little resemblense of what Renaissance did in the seventies, except for the last song. Fortunatly it does not try to bring any memories of their 80`s stuff either. Maybe if they chose another name for this band critics and fans would not be that harsh. Most of the record is very good, and the title track is really a great song. I am a big classic Renaisance fan, but I found no trouble listening to this album from start to finish. At least it is no Camera Camera or Timeline.

Good CD, but I can only recommended it to people with open mind and want to know the beautiful voice of Stephanie Ardlington. If you[re looking for the old fashioned Renaissance, go somewhere else.

Review by ZowieZiggy
1 stars IMO, this is the third non-Renaissance album in a row. "Camera Camera" showed already some signs of differentiation with their classic sound and the disgusting "Time Line" was their worst effort so far (twelve years prior to this "Other Woman").

Even if Annie Haslam didn't participate very much (to say the least) in the "Renaissance" song writing nor even in the lyrics, she was the one that incarnates the band. But this is only my personal feeling. The voice, the heart and soul. Her famous timber was one of the most recognizable of their so special music.

What is available on this album is of the caliber (?) of "Time Line" but with another female vocalist. Not that Stephanie Adlington has a bad voice, not at all but the lack of inspiration, the poor compositions (starting with the disco-ish "Déjà Vu") are just not what one can expect from a "Renaissance" album. But this isn't, I have already mentioned it.

Actually, the only good point of a song as "Love Lies" IS the vocal part. But this mellowish ballad doesn't really shine. And the other songs are just a collection of some popish ("Quicksilver") or syrupy ballads ("The Other Woman", "Lock In On Love", "So Blas", "May you Be Blessed").

There is even a reprise of an old "Renaissance" song (their only hit single) : "Northern Lights" from the album "A Song for All Seasons". But I couldn't be thrilled by the original and this version is no better.

The only acceptable song I can find is "Somewhere West Of Here" (the closing number). Almost like a true "Renaissance song, would you believe! This still shows that there was a opportunity to release a good effort if only more songs like this one were available.

Surprisingly enough, there are some good guitar breaks during two songs ("Déjà Vu", "Don't Talk") but these can't help a one star rating. Best avoided of course.

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars Nearly a decade after the last remnants of Renaissance Mk II (or III, depending on who's counting) packed it in guitarist Michael Dunford finally realized his goal of transforming the band's 1975 Scheherazade suite into a musical, culminating in a series of live performances at the Royal Academy of Music in London. The performances were supported by students of the Academy, including a young American vocalist by the name of Stephanie Adlington. Dunford was so taken by Adlington's vocal talent he enlisted her to perform as part of his 'Michael Dunford's Renaissance' lineup and record what became 'The Other Woman', released in 1994 in the UK and later in the U.S., Scandinavia and elsewhere.

While this is certainly not the same sort of classical-folk music Renaissance created during their glory years, the songs here are considerably more artistically and sonically appealing than the last couple of eighties studio albums from the band. Dunford is the only proper Renaissance member appearing here, augmented by former Whitesnake drummer Dave Dowle, bassist Phil Mulford, classical guitarist Stuart Bradbury and keyboardist Andy Spillar. Former Broken Home guitarist Rory Erickson also appears on one track while Adlington provides all the lead and backing vocals.

Ms. Adlington may not have the vocal range of Annie Haslam but she certainly acquits herself quite well on these songs with a voice that is rich, emotive, at times seductive, and with a range that is impressive in its own right. On a few songs Adlington reveals her American phrasing and timing, coming off as a slightly more sophisticated version of the Motels' Martha Davis on songs like the soft-rocking "Quicksilver" and the funky "Don't Talk". Elsewhere she shifts into adult contemporary mode, especially on the sometimes jazzy "Somewhere West of Here" and the gorgeous opening track "Déjà vu". The title track is a delightful soft pop number that recalls some of the more mature and restrained Kate Bush works.

While the album is consistently competent and well-produced there are few standout tracks, especially for hardcore Renaissance fans (most of whom probably scorned Adlington as the 'other woman' years ago). Two that are worth at least a listen are her version of the Renaissance classic hit "Northern Lights" and "Love Lies, Love Dies", a Dunford composition that Haslam would record herself on a solo album. In both cases the urge to compare the two singers is hard to resist but with "Northern Lights" I have to say Adlington holds her own on a song that never did test Haslam's range, and frankly she makes "Love Lies, Love Dies" her own with a throaty and playful performance that plays off the piano and synth keyboards beautifully.

Like I said this is not really a Renaissance album, but given the peculiarities of trademark law and recording artist contracts Dunford was able to put the brand name on the cover anyway, so whether fans accept the interloper Adlington or not this one shows up today in pretty much every discography listing of the band. I wouldn't call it progressive or folk by any means, but the musicianship is very good and Dunford shows a keen ear for vocal talent both in his decision to cast Adlington and in writing songs that are well-suited to her singing ability. The result is a solid if unremarkable album, and one that I don't regret shelling out a few bucks for. Three stars is a fair rating, and I wouldn't have any problem recommending 'The Other Woman' to anyone who grew up in the nineties and was interested in what a few aging prog rockers could do with a young chanteuse and a few weeks of studio time. This one is worth picking up in my opinion.


Review by SouthSideoftheSky
1 stars The other Renaissance

This version of Renaissance is very different from the one that released Time-Line in 1983 with Michael Dunford being the only surviving member from that previous album still present here. This means that the distinctive voice of Annie Haslam has been replaced by the more anonymous, but competent, Stephanie Adlington, hence the title of the album. Even though it was released in 1995, The Other Woman has a distinct 80's sound and is therefore continuous with the previous albums from the 80's despite the radical personnel changes. Of course, Renaissance had been through such a radical change once before, in the early 70's.

The music here is oriented towards Pop Rock with only very slight symphonic, folky, and progressive touches here and there. The melodies are decent, but not memorable. There is a re-make of an earlier classic Renaissance song in Northern Lights. It is rather good, but unnecessary. The weakest link of this album is the lyrics which are standard love songs for the most part. Overall, the album is by no means awful, but it lacks important ingredients. There are some ok moments, but also some cringe worthy ones. For me, the often hated Time-Line is a better album.

The Other Woman is one of Renaissance's least interesting albums and as such is primarily for completionists

Review by kenethlevine
3 stars In familiarizing oneself with the turbulent history of RENAISSANCE, one has to come to terms with a complete changeover in personnel over a 2 year period in the early 1970s, a lyricist who never sang or played an instrument tenuously linking the two lineups, a return of the original incarnation under a new name, a few offshoots with similar names and, here, in the mid 1990s, two simultaneous dueling RENAISSANCE's, one basically an Annie Haslam solo project, and the other, Michael Dunford's Renaissance, in which a young talented American named Stephanie Adlington tackles lead vocals. To her credit, she does not sound like a deer in the headlights, whatever that is, but instead boldly tackles a set that resides somewhere between the HASLAM led "Time Line" and the more rocking aspects of a band that found a lot of favor with prog fans in the lean early 1990s, "The October project".

Apart from its surprisingly uptempo nature, the album benefits from lyrics of long time Renaissance unofficial poet-laureat Betty Thatcher, who seems to have contributed content that suits Adlington's emotional range. However, this may have been a fortuitous accident, as apparently the writer had been through a bad breakup which may have more to do with the themes of deceit in love prevalent throughout, and the double entendre of the title itself. Right off, the key to enjoyment of "The Other Woman" is to forget whom she is replacing, and, even better, forget the name of the band. Within those confines, this is actually a competent pop rock album with occasional progressive touches. Apart from Adlington's throaty croon, the lead guitar solos of Stuart Bradbury on the catchy opener "Deja Vu" and the even more infectious "Don't Talk" banish the banal. Both "Love Lies, Love Dies" and the title cut are more dramatic ballads that could be signature pieces in a musical, and the latter offers up a haunting keyboard accompaniment. One doesn't hear a lot of Dunford on "The Other Woman", as he relegates himself to acoustic guitar, often absent other than in the decent version of the brilliant "Northern Lights", as well as composing and arranging.

Only one track really emanates in any fashion from the mother ship, that being the closer "Somewhere West of Here", which would fit well on almost any 1970s Renaissance disk, perhaps even more so under JANE RELF's tutelage. That Andy Spillar's powerful keyboard arrangements do not drown out Adlington is testament to her power. It's full of tempo shifts and flourishes that recall chestnuts like "Candles are Burning" or "Day of the Dreamer". The coda subtly revisits the "Love Lies" theme as it gracefully exits.

I may not make many friends with this comment, but I much prefer "The Other Woman" to the Dunford-Haslam reunion that bore fruit in 2001 in the form of the "Tuscany" album. It doesn't sound as much like Renaissance, but that allows one to assess it on its own merits rather than as a dim flicker of a once shining beacon. Since when does musical fidelity have to be monogamous?

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