"In The City Of Dreams" - The latest in the Private Parts & Pieces series of albums by Anthony Phillips reviewed by Frank Rogers.

Having been a Genesis fan for over thirty years I have to apologise up front , as Ant’s work is probably the one area of the band’s output that I have given the least amount of time to. So, when I was gifted a copy of Private Parts & Pieces XI: City Of Dreams, I genuinely didn’t know what to expect.

And so into the car CD player the disc went. What I found myself listening to was a really pleasant atmospheric album. I didn’t know what to expect, but what I was listening to was highly unexpected. For me this was really good. I suppose knowing that Ant was an ex member of Genesis and their former guitarist, I was expecting something guitar based but this was the exact opposite. It was more a controlled experiment with some of those keyboard sounds, you think when will I ever use that? But here we have an album that is quite beautiful.

I was trying to think of some close comparison and the name that was coming up in my head was Tangerine Dream. I enjoy the work of Tangerine Dream but this seemed to lack what I can only describe as the strong keyboard presence of Tangerine Dream replaced with some very atmospheric sounds.

Rather than being a driving album, unless you want something to accompany long drives through the hills and scenery, I found that this album was better listened to in the comfort of the living room chair, lights dimmed, a nice pint of one’s favourite drink which in my case is a pint of REAL beer. I found myself chilling away almost mentally becoming part of the atmospheric environment that the sounds were creating. I could envisage some of the track appearing on TV nature documentaries such as Blue Planet they are just so soothing and chilling. This album may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it is certainly mine.

The album is made up of thirty tracks one of which is less than a minute long , to the longest which is a shade under four minutes in length. The album was a real listening pleasure and has given me some new listening investigations to undertake. Apologies Ant! I didn’t know what I was missing! I am off to listen to some more of your work, I guess I have a LOT of catching up to do!

You certainly do, Frank! And I am sure you will find it every bit as enjoyable as I did all those years ago - AH.

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