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Anthony Phillips & Andrew Skeet: 7th Heaven

Genesis co-founder’s beautiful, Classic FM-baiting return.

While chronic stage fright led to his early departure from Genesis, guitarist Anthony Phillips went on to enjoy a fruitful career that saw him thrive as a solo artist, producer and composer of film and library music. He met arranger/orchestrator Andrew Skeet in 2008 when commissioned to write a set of cinematic orchestral pieces, and the two, went on to record a double album’s worth of material.

Featuring the City Of Prague Orchestra and smaller string units too, Seventh Heaven comprises 36 short and lyrical pieces bearing sumptuous titles like A Richer Earth, Pasquinade, Long Road Home.

Skeet’s classy orchestrations add depth to Phillips’ movie-friendly compositions, and Phillips’ talent for guitar (and oud and piano and bouzouki) remains undiminished, particularly on the gorgeous Under The Infinite Sky and Eastern-flavoured Desert Passage. Reworkings of Credo and Rain On Sag Harbour from his 2005 album Field Day enrich the work, and Belinda Sykes’ extraordinary vocal contribution to Seven Ancient Wonders is a marvel.

There’s nothing here to scare the horses and it’s over-long to listen to in one hit, but Seventh Heaven is an accomplished and frequently enchanting project from these two talented and compatible artists.