Exposé Online banner

Annie Haslam's Renaissance — Blessing in Disguise
(One Way PR0101, 1999/1995, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 1996-03-01

Blessing in Disguise Cover art

Annie Haslam's third solo outing is about the best set of songs she's recorded since her last work with the band whose name is referenced in the title (though I'm not really certain why). The disc is a set of well arranged pieces which pushes Annie's vocal out front with a well balanced production job from Tony Visconti (Bowie, T. Rex etc.). However, if you're looking for a return to the grandeur of the best of Renaissance ( e.g. "Mother Russia") don't get your hopes too high. Annie appears to be content in locating sympathetic writers and players who mostly play in the style of her old band, but don't push the fringes of songs much. In other words, this is a pretty safe endeavor for an artist who needs to hookup with a real band. A few good tracks are included which come close to approaching the class of her older work, "In Another Life" could have fit well on Azure d'Or except for the poppish chorus which all too often signals a goal toward radio airplay. "The Children of Medellin" is somewhat of a return to the style of Scheherazade, but is just a snippet of good idea which hasn't been advanced very far. I guess you could say Annie needs to meet some different kind of writers in the future to shake the attachments to pop music she makes so easily. If the cover on the Yes tribute, ("Turn of the Century" with Steve Howe ) maybe she has someone to work with who could accentuate the classical overtones which could make her next effort more true to form.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 9, 1995 releases, 1999 recordings

Related artist(s): Annie Haslam, Renaissance

Latest news

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tim Berne - Science Friction – The current direction of modern saxophone icon Tim Berne began in 2002 with this eight piece CD featuring his world class multi-talented quartet. Studio versions of “Huevos,” and “Manatee...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues