Mojo (Publisher) (7/02, p.116) - "...An unusual style-salad across 5 lengthy songs which visiting that prog-rock parallel universe of malevolent jesters and mythical islands..."
Renaissance: Keith Relf (vocals, guitar, harmonica); Jane Relf (vocals, percussion); John Hawken (piano, harpsichord); Louis Cennamo (bass); Jim McCarty (percussion, vocals).
Recorded at Olympic Sound Studios, London, England. Includes liner notes by Richie Unterberger.
All tracks are live recordings.
The original group's debut album was a then-groundbreaking meld of progressive rock with classical and jazz influences. The album is a little clunky by today's standards, and far druggier than the later group in its ambience (cofounders Keith Relf and Jim McCarty were the heavily psychedelic half of the final lineup of the Yardbirds, which made them anathema to Jimmy Page), but vocalist Jane Relf had a striking individual style, and the classical influence was unique for its time. [The 2002 Collector's Choice reissue cuts "Sea" and the second version of "Island" from the track listing.] ~ Bruce Eder