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Nick Magnus - Inhaling Green CD (album) cover


Nick Magnus


Symphonic Prog

3.59 | 18 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars Anatomy of Magnus' mind

I've had for some years the two most recent album releases from Nick Magnus, Hexameron (2004) and Children Of Another God (2010). But his first two solo albums, Straight On Till Morning (1993) and the present one (from 1999), eluded me until recently (when a fellow Prog Archives member helped me to find them, for which I am grateful).

Inhaling Green is very much of a solo album in that Magnus plays (almost) everything himself. In addition he is also the producer and the engineer. Though he plays other instruments as well, it is clear that this is very much of a keyboard player's album - which I like. The music is at times jazzy, at others symphonic, at yet other times he ventures into electronic music, and some more folky atmopheres can be found as well. It is thus a rather eclectic mix. But Magnus manages well to fit everything into a reasonably coherent set of tracks. There are some nice flute parts played by John Hackett (the brother of Steve Hackett, with whom Magnus is most known for being the keyboard player during the late 70's and early 80's). Though Steve does not appear here, as he would do on Magnus more recent albums, the guitar parts are in his style.

This album is entirely instrumental except some keyboard generated voices on Cantus and some real but wordless vocals as well as some spoken word passages on the 16 plus minute, three-part title track. The best tracks come in at the beginning and at the end of the album with some weaker moments in the middle. The two weakest tracks are in my opinion the aforementioned Cantus (a chant over Dance rhythms) and Dixon Hill (a "bouncy" Jazz number with Brass instruments and annoying whistling!). Conquistador is pleasant enough, but sound a little bit too much like an intro to something that never comes. Theme One sounds rather like a version of ELP in which Carl Palmer has been replaced by a drum machine. This is a triumphant, fanfare-like, keyboard-driven tune in the style of Fanfare For The Common Man. In general the weakest aspect of this album lies in the rhythm department. With a proper drummer to back him up instead of relying on programmed drums, this album would most probably have sounded better.

Nonetheless, this is a good album as it stands that was an improvement over the solo debut and that sits well beside the follow-up Hexameron.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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