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Saga - Saga CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.71 | 213 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Saga are regarded as the forefathers of neoprog, and that's due to the fact that they managed to instill a clairly poppish freshness into the realms of symph prog. The medium was the use of catchy melodic lines, not too complicated rhythm patterns (otherwise managed by Negus with mastery and energy), and tons of attractive synth layers and orchestrations. But this is not all about synths: Ian Crichton's guitar riffs, harmonies and brilliant solos find a way to shine with a light of its own among the whole keyboard paraphernalia. Saga know how to exploit the musical potential of keyboard technology while keeping a genuine hard rocking ambience. Their namesake debut album is mostly their musical statement: I would summarize their prog style distilled in their earlier albums as 76- 78 Genesis-meets-Camel-meets-'Hemispheres'-era Rush-meets-AOR-meets-funky-meets- 'Stratosfear'-era Tangerine Dream, though I may sound too simplistic or formulaic. The album kicks off with 'How Long', a pretty commercial number that shows Saga's accesible side anabashedly. The longest tracks are the most impressive, since they show off Saga's full potential in terms of elaborating weel crafted keyboard orchestrations, rocky power, and dramatic tension (including Sadler's singing, which is both peculiar and effective, while keeping a highly melodic approach): 'Will It Be You?', 'Ice Nice' and 'Tired World' are quite impressive tracks. Other highlights are 'Humble Stance' (full of R'n'B touches) and 'The Perfectionist' (a Baroquesque portrait of sadistic obsession). 'Give 'Em the Money' recovers the funky thread of the opening number with a harder edge, while 'Climbing the Ladder' is built upon wise arrangements on attractive simple tunes. This band really had a very good start with this album: particularly recommended to those who enjoy good melodies and clever performances, and are not so obsessed with complex rhythm patters.

Cesar Inca | 4/5 |


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