Writing pieces about your friends and their personalities is a simple, universal idea for a composition. (although Elgar got there with the Enigma Variations before The Enid..). This is a listenable, appealing album, with the friends being the band themselves. As usual, they draw upon late-Romantic and Baroque classical influences for the pieces' intricate arrangements.
The closeness between the six band members might be reflected in the interplay between the musicians and tightness of their performance. Stand-out tracks include a sweepingly romantic arrangement of "Scarborough Fair" and the Tchaikovsky-like "The Dreamer", which some may scorn as "sentimental".
"Joined at the Heart" is an extra track, a brooding, hypnotic piece underpinned by a throbbing heartbeat sound. This is guitarist Stephen Stewart's complement to keyboard player Robert Godfrey's part I, found on The Enid's "Touch Me" album.
May 17, 2003