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Magenta - Seven CD (album) cover





4.07 | 345 ratings

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3 stars Their first double album showed a deep influence fom Renaissance (piano and vocals), "Genesis" and "Yes". Quite enjoyable but too much "borrowed" to be honest. I had already appreciated one of the founding member (Rob Reed) in a previous band ("Cyan") and he just confirms his talent within "Magenta".

When you listen to the very first notes from "Gluttony" one of the seven sins represented here (I really like the idea of the sins, being myself a great sinner) you are on your way for a "YesTrip". Beautiful vocal harmonies, complex rhythm, Howe-ish style guitar work, subtle keys. YesWorld, man. With a crystal vocal voice. Rather charming, even if not 100% original.

"Envy" brings us back fully in the "Renaissance" territory. No wonder that the band will be joined by Annie Haslam for an EP later on in their career. But during the instrumental passages, the "Yes" influence is again to be noticed. Deeply. "Gates" is really close at times. But the combination with those smooth vocals from Christina Murphy adds a great flavour to it. The finale features a very good guitar solo. As if Bryan Josh from Mostly Autumn had joined.

All compositions are quite long (except "Anger"). The mood is a bit too much of the same during "Lust" and "Greed". Both are a mix of "Genesis" ("A Trick Of The Tail" era) and "Renaissance. Pleasant and soft music. A combination of sweet vocals, pleasant piano and symphonic moments. Because the band sounds much more symphonic than neo-prog actually. This lack of variety might well be a bit boring while listening to this album in its entirety. To keep the listener's interest for seventy-five minutes is not an easy job in these circumstances. But same applies for several "Renaissance" albums.

The acoustic and mellow "Anger" is the weakest of the songs of this album. It is fortunately the shortest one as well. Invading orchestrations are just too much for my ears. "Pride" will feature some Banks oriented synths which are of course nice to listen to but which shows the band's limitation in terms of creativity. Fully dependable on others' ideas (Yes, Floyd, Genesis and Renaissance). Great sources of inspiration of course.

This is the major critic for this work (same for their debut album). "Magenta" can't find their identity so far (or maybe this kaleidoscope IS their identity). The music played on "Seven" is enjoyable, well performed and relaxing. "Sloth" being the smoothest and featuring a great Floydian guitar break. It is a good album. But not a great one.

Three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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