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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Annie Haslam

One Enchanted Evening

Review by Gary Hill

I’m sure most of the people reading Music Street Journal will have been introduced to Annie Haslam through her work in Renaissance. Well, the main thing that this work shares with that is Haslam’s incredible voice. The music here moves between classically tinged, jazz and show tunes, but seldom touches upon the type of soundscape we’re used to from her old band. That said, Haslam’s performance makes this work. There is a definite monolithic texture to this live album, though.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Some Enchanted Evening
The opening to this is perhaps close to some of the more stripped down and organic music from Renaissance. Haslam’s vocal delivery, though, and the arrangement to the bulk of the track make this more of a torch song.
Bali Hai
Keyboards and voice make the arrangement of this track. It’s definitely very much like musical theater.
Nature Boy
Mellow and stripped down this is a good track.
If I Loved You
Once more we get a balladic tune with a stripped down approach. This teeters between opera and show music. As with the rest of the disc it’s Haslam’s voice that really carries this. 
Desafinado
Here’s a tasty jazz trio type number. 
Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars (Corcovado)
There’s a bit more energy to this one. It’s pretty and tasty, just like the rest of the disc. It’s definitely one of the more purely jazzy cuts here. 
Sun Whose Rays
Gentle and slow moving, this is another pretty one, but is more in keeping with some of the earlier tracks than the last couple. 
Tit Willow
Bouncy and playful this is theatrical and stripped down. 
Gymnopédie 2+
Here we get a keyboard excursion.
One Day
This is perhaps closer to Renaissance than some of the other music, but I doubt anyone would confuse it as such.
I Don't Know Where I Stand
Acoustic guitar tones drive this – and make it stand out from the rest of what we’ve heard to this point. It’s a pretty ballad that again calls to mind Renaissance a bit. Haslam’s voice is particularly powerful here.
Lascia Chio Pianga
Here is one that’s very classical in nature, right down the string arrangement.
Dank Sie Dei Herr
While this is pretty and poignant the disc is starting to suffer a bit from everything feeling too similar. There are some additional instruments in this arrangement, but still it’s a little too samey.
One Hand One Heart
This is a beautiful track and one of the most poignant on show. It still suffers from the lack of diversity on the set, though. As good as this is, that’s a shame. 
She's Leaving Home
She closes the set with this beautiful rendition of a Beatles song. This feels a bit like taking a Rick Wakeman styled interpretation and adding Haslam’s vocals to it. This track by itself would be worth the price of admission.
 
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