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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Renaissance

Time-Line

Review by Gary Hill

I can see why a lot of Renaissance fans were put off by this set. It’s very much a new wave based album. It was a huge departure for the group. It was only somewhat successful, too. A lot of times the mix of sounds seems awkward and definitely “un-Renaissance-like” to me. Still, it’s worth having, for some of the songs.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Flight

This is very much a different sound for Renaissance. It’s a fast paced number that’s more mainstream rock than what we’re used to from the band. Yet there are also elements of the folk rock that they touch upon a lot. This is familiar in some ways and weird in others.

Missing Persons
If the last number was strange for Renaissance, this one makes it seem like something normal. This is very much Renaissance goes new wave. The bass line is even a little funky at times. I’m not all that enthralled with this number for sure.
Chagrin Boulevard
Although the same new wave meets rock approach is heard here, this is much closer to something that you’d likely think of as Renaissance. It’s a bouncy, energetic number that works pretty well.
Richard IX
The keyboard sound on this is rather cheesy. I’m definitely not impressed with this number, but the vocal hooks are pretty good.
The Entertainer
This is more like it. It’s got more of a classic Renaissance sound. Still, it’s modern. It’s just not over the top in that new wave or 80s sound.
Electric Avenue
The vocals bring this a little into more Renaissance territory, but the music is definitely weird. It’s part funk, part new wave and all strange (at least for Renaissance).
Majik
Very heavily set in that new wave kind of vibe, this number is still a bit more like typical Renaissance. It’s got good energy and works reasonably well.
Distant Horizons
Although very pop oriented, there are enough links to old Renaissance to peg this as being part of their catalog.
Orient Express
A high energy number, there is definitely some funk and fusion built into this. While it’s not overtly Renaissance, there are recognizable elements. It’s also one of my favorite cuts here. It’s an odd, but effective, mix of sounds.
Autotech
This is a very weird track. It’s high energy. It’s just not Renaissance like. It’s also not that proggy. It does remind me a bit of Klaatu in some ways. It’s fun. It’s just strange for Renaissance.
 
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