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This instrumental album is relentlessly twiddly, even by the Enid's standards. The pieces are based on traditional baroque dance forms, with lots of pipes and drums as well as the conventional guitars and keyboards. It's from the stage where they had several band members, and is a case of too many cooks. The tunes and arrangements tend to be overblown and stodgy, with far too much weight on Robert Godfrey's keyboards. It's not flattered by a muddy, almost mono-sounding production. The occasional decent moments include the slow "Land of Hope and Glory"-style middle section of "Humoresque", and the martial drumrolls of "Cortege". Part 1 of "Albion Fair" is reminiscent of Vangelis's experimental keyboard compositions of the 70's. However part 2 drags on and on, imploding on itself with bloat.
As an alternative I'd recommend the follow-up "Six Pieces", which has much more crisp and exciting music, showing off the full capabilities of these players.
The extra filler track for this version of the CD is "Joined at the Heart part 1" by Robert Godfrey. This is a pleasingly floaty ambient keyboard piece, also similar to Vangelis. Its more earthy partner, guitarist Stephen Stewart's part 2, can be found on "Six Pieces".
December 23, 2003