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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The return and a possible grande farewell, 5 July 2013
This review is from: Grandine Il Vento (Audio CD)
The long awaited new Renaissance album. An album made even more poignant with the recent passing of Michael Dunford, one of the founders of the mark II of this band. The only other member of mark II is Annie Haslam. Both of them are very much present on this album.

The album title and Annie Haslam's art work promises a lot. A return to the likes of Ashes Are Burning, Turn Of The Cards and in particular; the Scheherazade album. The sounds coming from the band leading up to the release of this album was promising us a return to that sound. A promised partly honoured. Well, the band tried their best to return to this sound and they have partly succeeded. I though would remind you all that this album is the follow up to the not so perfect Tuscanny album. A mix of that album's light pop and Scheherazade is the best description I can come up with when it comes to this album.

The twelve minutes long Symphony Of Light sets the ball running and it is a great song. Annie Haslam's voice is as great as ever. The second song Waterfall is very good. The title track is another great song in the good old Turn Of The Cards mould. I have problems with Porcelain. But most of it is a very good song. I don't like these voice overs in the song. The duet with John Wetton is pretty good, but the weakest track on the album. The album closes with the great The Mystic And The Muse after I have bypassed three-four songs.

All songs are very much moulded in the Renaissance mix of pop, rock and classical music sound. Annie sings over a mix of keyboards, pianos, drums, guitars and bass. Everything oozes class and elegance. Annie also proves that she is the undisputed queen, ruling monarch, of the female vocalists in the melodic and progressive rock scene. Her vocals is as per usual stunning. Utterly stunning.

I am not sure if Grandine il Vento is the final ever Renaissance album. A band that has meant and still means a lot to me. If it is their final studio album (I suspect we will get a live album from their recent tour); Rennaissance is bowing out on the top and with one of their best albums. It is not in the same class as their trio Ashes/Cards/Scheherazade. It is still on the level just below there again though. OK, some of the songs here are far too much pop music for my liking. Far too much like Tuscanny. But most songs, if not all of them, have elements I really like. Elements that reminds me why I really love this band.

Grandine il Vento is in short a very good album. Annie Haslam's artwork and vocals elevates it up to a great album status. An album I am starting to really getting a lovely relationship with. Scary.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Taking me back to my youth, 27 Oct 2013
This review is from: Grandine Il Vento (Audio CD)
In many ways, this new Renaissance album reminds me of 'Turn Of The Cards' the first record I bought by this group. I Played that once, was not sure what to think, so consigned it to the shelf for six months. I knew that I had to play this a few times for it to grow on me, and grow on me it has, the more I hear Grandine Il Vento the more I want to hear it. It is classic Renaissance, and not one of the softer more commercial albums that followed Novella. I can hear little bits of several of their older songs on this album, but it perhaps misses a song with the drive of 'Running Hard' or 'Can you Understand' and a song with the beauty of 'Ocean Gipsy'. Annie's voice is still as beautiful as ever, if not quite as strong as it used to be, and the transitions in mood through some of the songs is not quite as good as it could be. But that said, this is a fantastic album, and deserves its five stars. A real tribute to Michael Dunford who sadly passed away before its release. I know that Renaissance were bigger in America and Japan than the UK, and it is therefore understandable that the group have recently performed concerts in these countries, but it would be nice if they returned to do a few concerts in the UK sometime. I saw most of the top rock bands of the 70's live, but still my favourite and most memorable concert was Renaissance at the Royal Albert Hall. If you want to buy this CD, but are put off by the price of it here in the UK, go on to Amazon.com and buy direct from America. It was less than quarter of the best UK price, and although delivery was more expensive I still saved a huge amount.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Renaissance - "Grandine II Vento", 15 Aug 2014
This review is from: Grandine Il Vento (Audio CD)
This is a CD of this latest phase of the Renaissance band that features the beautiful voice of Annie Haslam and Dunford's guitar MIchael at your last job. The band is completed with other musicians who have worked with one of the two. It's a calmer Renaissance, but with beautiful songs and a good tribute to Dunford who unfortunately died later. Not a classic album from the band's heyday, but has good and acceptable content. Worth a lot to the fans and for those who enjoy good music to revive the progressive rock of the 70s with more calm. Note 8.
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Grandine Il Vento
Grandine Il Vento by Renaissance (Audio CD - 2013)
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