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Saga - Generation 13 CD (album) cover

GENERATION 13

Saga

 

Crossover Prog

3.94 | 102 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 'Generation 13' is Saga's top achievement: after a not so impressive return to the music arena in the early 90s, with two albums that simply had some interesting moments, 'Generation 13' showed a band that decided to challenge itself massively. This concept album centered upon the current youth's obsession for futile pleasures and inability to cherish the real good things in life (including love) is a continuous musical journey that relates Sam's wicked way of life until he dramatically finds out that what he needs is redemption. The performances are extremely sensitive in the most emotional and introspective numbers, while heavily ballsy in the rockier ones. The interplay between all members is awesome and fresh, given the fact that most of the band's inputs were exclusively recorded live in the studio. What else can I say about Negus' tight drumming, Ian Crichton's superb guitar playing, and Gilmour's precision in his keyboard duties that hasn't been said before? Anyway, their skills shine here brighter than never before, due to the strength and variety of the material contained in this record. As always, Jim Crichton's bass playing is subdued and accurately subordinaed to Negus' trends (as a bassist) and Gilmour's ambiences (as a bass synth player), and Sadler keeps the usual level of singing versatility, as well as a good complementary activity on his supporting keyboards - he even dares to play some tasteful bombastic pipe organ!! The first two tracks make an impressive entry: first, a piano club ballad accompanied by Sadler's almost sleepy singing; then, an explosive heavy number that includes a medely of some of the following track's main melodic lines. If you're hooked by now, this album won't let go of you. Other outstanding rocky numbers -'The Cross (Home # 3)', 'The Growing Tree', 'Generation 13 (Theme # 2)'. But if you're more into emotionally deep pieces, here is ' 'I'll Never Be Like You (Once Again)'; or if you want your typical symph prog bombast, you've got 'Snake Oil'/'We Hope You're Feeling Better', and also the fiery climax created by the cinematographic sequence that goes from 'One Small Step' to 'We Hope You're Feeling Better (# 2)'. The 'My Name is Sam' tracks are designed under the patterns of industrial technopop, in order to portray the hedonistic ambient of discoteque-goers, and 'No Strings Attached' takes a bluesy cynical look into the implicit selfishness in the cult of beauty. 'Leave Her Alone' starts as an acoustic guitar duet set upon a somber organ layer, until an indie-like psychedelic rock section surfaces, with lots of ghosts shouting, calling and whispering in the background: really schizo! As you may notice, the repertoire is varied, but not lacking unity at all: the presence of some recurring motifs along the repertoire works as a key of integral coherence. A stounding piece of work that shines as what it is, a 90s prog gem.
Cesar Inca | 4/5 |

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