Illuminations

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Fran├žois Couture
There are two surprising things about Illuminations. First is that Glass managed to record a second album. After all, their sole LP was recorded in the '70s, didn't came out before the group disbanded in 1979, and was only released in 2000, spawning a comeback. Secondly, this American band doesn't sound American at all. Instead, they fit snugly between the vintage British instrumental progressive rock school and the Canterbury variation. The group still carries on as a keyboard-led trio with a focus on pretty melodies instead of flashy musicianship. "Overture" puts all the elements of that sound in the right place, hinting at both ELP and Procol Harum. Three long ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Fran├žois Couture
There are two surprising things about Illuminations. First is that Glass managed to record a second album. After all, their sole LP was recorded in the '70s, didn't came out before the group disbanded in 1979, and was only released in 2000, spawning a comeback. Secondly, this American band doesn't sound American at all. Instead, they fit snugly between the vintage British instrumental progressive rock school and the Canterbury variation. The group still carries on as a keyboard-led trio with a focus on pretty melodies instead of flashy musicianship. "Overture" puts all the elements of that sound in the right place, hinting at both ELP and Procol Harum. Three long suites follow. Despite its title, "The Secret Life of Aqua L. Long" makes no reference whatsoever to Jethro Tull's classic album. However, it delivers one of two highlights, thanks to strong songwriting, efficient arrangements, and a guest star spot featuring Hugh Hopper of Soft Machine fame. "Electronic Synaesthasia" also works out quite well, but "Alchemy of the Word" loses itself in too many similar keyboard themes. Here, the group starts to sound like it is running out of ideas. The title "Slightly Behind All the Time" could be a nod to a famous track from Soft Machine's Third, which would explain the very Mike Ratledge-esque organ sound. Keyboardist Greg Sherman pulls most of his stops in this piece, but in order for it to take off, it would have needed a stronger rhythmic presence. One feels like begging drummer Jerry Cook to stop swinging and just start pounding harder. The second highlight of the set comes at the very end: "Gaia," featuring the aerial guitar of Phil Miller and wordless vocalizations of Richard Sinclair, two legends of the Canterbury scene. Considering the group's extremely obscure status during its first incarnation and recent resurrection out of nowhere, Illuminations could have been a disaster. It's not. It's not a phenomenal record either, but surely offers a decent listen, worthy of your time.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/28/2006
  • Label: Musea Records France
  • EAN: 3426300045942
  • Catalog Number: 4594
  • Sales rank: 244,809

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Overture (5:43)
  2. 2 The Secret Life of Aqua L. Long: Astral Transascension (7:12)
  3. 3 The Secret Life of Aqua L. Long: Isle of Dyslexia (3:14)
  4. 4 The Secret Life of Aqua L. Long: Medicine Man (5:30)
  5. 5 Electronic Synaesthasia: The Hidden Room (3:42)
  6. 6 Electronic Synaesthasia: Crossing (5:10)
  7. 7 Electronic Synaesthasia: My Tantric Gatito (3:49)
  8. 8 Alchemy of the Word: Eclipse (2:48)
  9. 9 Alchemy of the Word: Wanderlust (2:38)
  10. 10 Alchemy of the Word: Eternity (1:57)
  11. 11 Alchemy of the Word: Reprise (1:35)
  12. 12 Alchemy of the Word: Delirium (5:00)
  13. 13 Alchemy of the Word: Falling (2:23)
  14. 14 Slightly Behind All the Time (5:57)
  15. 15 Gaia (6:10)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Philip Glass Primary Artist
Phil Miller Electric Guitar
Paul Black Drums
Hugh Hopper Fuzz Bass
Richard Sinclair Voices
Greg Sherman Keyboards
Technical Credits
Bill Cobb Mastering
Jeff Evans Producer, Engineer
William Maxwell Engineer
David Earl Taylor Engineer
Greg Sherman Composer, Producer
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