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Saga - House Of Cards CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.51 | 146 ratings

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3 stars Over recent years, albums from Canadian prog/pomp mega-stars Saga have been a mixed bag: some were absolutely awesome; some were, well, absolutely not. There's nothing shaky, however, about their new "House Of Cards," a tight, focused return to their classic, early '80s form. Their mastery of mood remains intact, as they explore everything from propulsive pomp-metal to sparse, poppy prog with their unique, winning creativity. Their performances are also unerringly spectacular, ranging from wispy synth lines and sweet acoustic strums to incisive, heavy riffs and squealing keyboard and guitar solos. Anyone who hasn't yet tuned in to the genius of guitarist Ian Crichton or the rich, expressive tenor of singer Michael Sadler (among other Saga standouts) is missing out on some serious magic.

Despite its many strengths, "House Of Cards" isn't an essential purchase for casual fans. Although it's not an inaccessible record, it's also not Saga's most engaging set, and it lacks the huge melodic single that Saga's best albums boast. (Indeed, newcomers to the band might do better with the breakthrough "Worlds Apart" album or its killer follow-up, "Heads Or Tales.") Diehard fans, however, won't care about such trivialities. They'll be too busy rejoicing in their heroes' superb, energetic return.

| 3/5 |


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