Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Listen to Samples
Sheer Brilliance. Progressive/Pop/Psych at it's finest.
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a true gem. I highly recommend this to all fans of Keith Relf, Jim McCarty, The Yardbirds, Renaissance and great Progressive/Pop/Psych music. This also feautures Keith Relf's beautiful (All The Falling Angels). Relf and McCarty breathe new life into the world of music and should not be missed. Grab this one, it is a wonderful treat."
R. Josef | New Haven, CT United States | 07/11/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Illusion was sort of a "sequel" band to the original lineup of Renaissance. In 1977, the surviving original Renaissance members -- singer/songwriter/guitarist Jim McCarty, vocalist Jane Relf, keyboardist John Hawken, and bassist Louis Cennamo -- added lead guitarist John Knightsbridge and drummer Eddie MacNeil to form Illusion. The band recorded two excellent progressive rock albums, "Out of the Mist" and "Illusion" (now both on the CD "The Island Recordings"). Unfortunately, they ran headlong into the Punk and New Wave acts that were then sweeping through British rock, and they were let go by Island Records.
"Enchanted Caress" consists of demos, produced by Jim McCarty, which were used to try and get a new record contract for the group. After hearing them, it easy to understand why they weren't able to do so. While some progressive bands (like Yes and Renaissance) responded to New Wave pop by trying to adopt that sound, McCarty decided to try and give the group a sound that we would call adult contemporary/MOR today.
Illusion certainly recorded some attempts at commercial love songs on their two albums, but they were produced with the same full, rich arrangements (dominated by Hawken's lush keyboards)as the group's longer, more prog material. Here, we get three minute pop songs with bland playing and trite lyrics, like "Getting into Love Again", "You are the One" and "Nights in Paris". The fact that these are demos excuse, in part, the lack of any instrumental excitement (and rumor has it that Hawken may actually not be on these demos), but not totally. The obvious attempt at commercial songwriting precludes any instumental stretching. The biggest attraction for many people to Illusion was the beautiful alto vocals of Jane Relf, but even she can't elevate the mediocre material. The closest track here to the classic Illusion sound is "The Man Who Loved the Trees", with a fairly intricate piano part and an emotional Jane Relf vocal.
The other two most worthwhile tracks aren't even Illusion tracks, strictly speaking. John Knightsbridge turns in a hard rock arrangement of Richard Rodgers classic "Slaughter on 10th Ave." that is interesting (even if it may be patterned after Mick Ronson's version). And the CD concludes with the last recording of Renaissance founder Keith Relf, who died before Illusion formed. "All the Fallling Angels" is a haunting ballad which sounds oddly like a track from David Bowie's "Space Oddity" phase, and easily outclasses the rest of this material.
Only hardcore Renaissance/Yardbirds/Illusion fans should make the effort. Everyone else should now pick up the "Island Recordings" to really hear what Illusion was truly all about. Or get Jim McCarty's two solo albums to hear more successful attempts with mellow pop."
Lacks some of the brilliance of their two previous albums, b
Glen Zimmerman | West Bumblefuch, USA | 10/23/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After the release of their 1978 album, Illusion were denied a record deal, which is the reason why this album was not released until 1990, even though most of the songs were recorded in 1979. The lineup is the same (including Jane Relf), though Relf's presence is somewhat less prominent here. Some songs of note are the hummable, nicely crafted "Walking Space" and the brilliant hard-driving-guitar cover of the American standard "Slaughter On 10th Avenue" which might just be the best ever treatment of that oft-recorded song."