ILLUSION : OUT OF THE MIST / ILLUSION
Label : Island
Length : 73:23
Released : 1977 (Out Of The Mist) / 1978 (Illusion)
Review (AllMusic) (Out Of The Mist) : Featuring the original Renaissance lineup (minus the late Keith Relf), this revived configuration has production based largely around Hawken's lush keyboards and Jane Relf's crystalline vocals. Illusion is still very much the prototype of Renaissance - despite the entirely different lineup from the Haslam-fronted band, the family resemblance is striking. "Faces of Yesterday" highlights Hawken's use of cascading piano and Mellotron strings as an accompaniment to Jane Relf's lilting voice. The other primary song form is exemplified by "Candles are Burning" and "Solo Flight," both of which use an aggressive, pounding left hand on the piano as the anchor for guitar solos by John Knightsbridge. The former song uses alternating harmonized vocals by Relf and McCarty, while the latter highlights McCarty's often underutilized voice. It's a welcome return for this band, and a must-own for any serious fan of Renaissance.