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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Anyone's Daughter

Adonis

Review by Larry Toering

This is a German prog band with a lot of roots from different branches of the musical tree. With a name that is familiar to me, but not likely just anyone. This was released in 1979, and is usually referred to as their debut, and a fine entry it is. There is so much going on here that it's hard to take it all in without breaks. It is a conceptual album. This group have recorded quite a few and been through several line-ups since recording this. It's one fantastic collection of perfectly well blended, but often mid-tempo arrangements in the overall outcome, and the synth work is incredible, the kind which fascinates just about anyone who hears it.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Part I – Come Away

This features a sweet guitar hook, but not in your average approach. This is more like a hook Greg Lake would use in an ELP song. The music is so captivating that it's contagious. With very interesting synth work for texture, it's a nice way to start the story of Adonis. It is amazing how smooth the guitar and synth parts are together, a rare treat indeed. There is very little going on in the vocal department, but what there is, adds very well to the arrangement and is vital because it is a story.

Part II – The Disguise

There is some groovy synth to say the least, and the drums have a cosmic effect, as well. Things really take off in places with all kinds of musical excitement. Sometimes it’s a lot to bear, but then it is prog, so that's often the case, especially if you're not used to it. This takes the story into part two, as it curises right along.

Part III – Adonis

This has more synth than most would know what to do with... and it's a radical approach, but a fine experimental one as well. The vocals compare so much more to Lake than Gabriel any day, so much that I don't understand the prevalent comparisons to Selling England By The Pound. The music is definitely more akin to Genesis than ELP.

Part IV – The Epitaph

This has more vocals, but as they're German it's a bit short on delivery, and rather spread out. This feels like a story that way, so it's an appropriate amount they applied to it all. This takes the story out, and the rest are separate tracks, having nothing to do with Adonis. I love the use of guitars here, so subtle yet so effective.

Blue House

This is an interesting instrumental of brutal proportions, just a wonderful piece of music if there ever was one. Amazingly clean and precise playing is found in every note of this great number.

Sally

This has a lot of vocals in it, for a change, and a very accessible groove with some fine guitar playing. I think this is probably the most satisfying number on Adonis. There is a featured sax solo in this and it also really adds to the quality of the track.

Anyone's Daughter

This is a different way to close an album, with the title being the name of the band. This starts off with a killer piano, sounding a lot like Keith Emerson, so by this last track, they do manage to sound a lot like ELP, but with a sizzling guitar to go with it. This is another one of the great numbers on the disc. It's truly a wonderful slab of prog.

 
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