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Renaissance - Novella CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.75 | 394 ratings

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4 stars An excellent symphonic prog album with orchestra .!!

I have been searching the CD of this album for such a long time because the only version that I got in the 70s was just a cassette and I don't know where the cassette is right now. Lucky that during my business trip to Bandung (180 KM from Jakarta) I found this one and the "Azure D'Or" album in CD format from secondary market with a cheap price. So I bought these two CDs with other 18 CDs that I found very interesting "worth" owning CD, including The Battles "Mirrored". On "Novella", of course I have been familiar with Some of the songs like "Can You Hear Me" or "Midas Man" or the concluding track "Touching Once" from the compilation of live albums. But, for legendary prog bands like Renaissance, owning the full-fledge album ini a CD is a MUST for me, so . I have no doubt at all to purchase this CD especially with an unbelievable price!

The opening track "Can you hear me?" (13:39) was written by Jon Camp, Michael Dunford and Thatcher. It starts bombastically with an beautiful orchestra which remarks the grandiose side of this song. As far as taste concern, this is one of may favorite tracks by Renaissance for couple of reasons. First, I like the structure of the song where I can see some changes, even though not dramatic, in moods and styles to accentuate the story behind the lyrics. Second, I like its melody which flows beautifully from start to end. Third, I like Annie Haslam voice which turns very high (register notes) at interlude section when the music turns slow. Fourth, the music is very suitable for contemplation in search of God - the Almighty, the merciful. "Fly like a song, fly while you're singing. A song without you, is a bird without winging. Some city flights leave in the morning. Some city nights end without warning. Can you hear me cal?". What a great lyrical chorus line.

"The sisters" (7:12) was written by Dunford, Thatcher and Tout and it starts beautifully with a soft piano work followed in a wonderful ambient by floating singing style by Annie Haslam. This mellow opening has an excellent melody and I'm sure it will satisfy most of listeners as it's quite accessible. Again, the voice of Annie Haslam is really wonderful. The keyboard solo that accompanies piano during interlude is also stunning. Dunford's acoustic guitar fills provide excellent nuance to the song. It's truly an excellent song!

"Midas man" (5:46) was written by Dunford and Thatcher and it has a good combination of acoustic guitar, keyboard that accompanies Annie Haslam singing. The song flows naturally with a good melody and some enhancement of orchestral arrangement by Richard Hewson. This song is quite standard in terms of the kind of Renaissance music and I have been hearing this song regularly.

"The captive heart" (4:16) was written by Camp and Dunford with wonderful piano solo as intro part with classical style. Annie Haslam voice enters and the piano keeps playing as rhythm section. The main components of this song are basically just vocal and piano and it's a nice song.

"Touching once (is so hard to keep)" (9:26) was written by Camp and Dunford and it kicks off with an orchestral work, arranged by Richard Hewson. This is another excellent track by Renaissance with great accentuation in singing style where Annie's voice moves dynamically throughout the song from normal singing to the narrative style. The beauty of this song is on its orchestral arrangements and the melody. I am sure this song will favor most listeners as the music is accessible and enjoyable. I like the maneuvers created by the orchestra's string section in some transition pieces. It's really an excellent track.

Overall, this is of course one of the best Renaissance albums that you should have. The composition is tight and it blends nice melody, vocal harmonies and orchestra arrangements into great music offering. It would best be enjoyed during night time with LOUD volume as you would get subtleties of the music perfectly. Highly recommended. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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