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Magenta - The Twenty Seven Club CD (album) cover





3.84 | 226 ratings

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5 stars Magenta's sixth studio album comes after 2011's Chameleon, which in my opinion was their weakest album. It was deliberately released as a collection of shorter, more accessible songs which inevitably resulted in a less "proggy" album. The 27 Club, again deliberately, is at the other end of the prog scale.

Firstly, it's a concept album. Each song tells a story of one member of the 27 Club, a name given to all those unfortunate musicians who died at the young age of 27. Secondly, there are only six songs on the album, four of which are over 10 minutes and the shortest being nigh on 7 minutes. Thirdly, there are plenty of time signature changes, keyboards, soaring guitar solos, highs, lows, lovely melodies, and gorgeous vocals.

One thing about this album is that although it's all new, it has all the familiar Magenta sounds. In fact you could almost take each song and place it on one of their previous albums. The reason for this is that composer Rob Reed has gone back to Magenta's prog roots, extracted the best styles from their past and put them all together into one concise but brilliant album.

There are various styles on the album. Ladyland and Stoned are my favourites, the latter having a classic Yes sound, and being better than anything Yes have done since the 70s. These two tracks are closest to the Seven material. The Lizard King and The Devil At The Crossroads are the longest tracks which open and close the album, both very proggy but less "Yessy" in sound. Pearl is a slower, more Floyd-like ballad with some superb vocals from Christina Booth, reminiscent of some of the best moments from Home. The Gift is the one track which hasn't quite grabbed me yet but it's still got some great moments.

In summary, after just a few listens this has already become my favourite Magenta album and it's right up there with the best albums I've heard in the last few years. If you like good, old-fashioned melodic prog with a modern feel, this album is definitely for you.

FatOldSun | 5/5 |


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