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SAGA

Saga

 

Crossover Prog

3.61 | 137 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

axeman
4 stars In general, I consider this one of the top albums in my Saga collection. Tired World is simply the best song that Saga has ever put out. I'm not often as absolutist in my opinions as I sound here.

Sure, I can hear the disco beat and the Erasure-reminiscent techno-pop, that probably drive other prog fans in the opposite direction. However, I find that Saga there is often just enough to listen to. Heck, I even like some of the disco-beat songs. I like On the Loose off of Worlds Apart, especially as it is layered with with some nice aggressive guitars that detract from the disco-keyboard-trumpet sound that sometimes intrudes.

But it's just not the same with Tired World.

Ice Nice is also one of their better songs, as well. And Give 'Em the Money is quite a decent jam, with some decent prog overtones.

The interesting thing about this album is that, through most of it, it appears that Saga had no idea how awesome Crichton was on guitar. It's somewhat reminiscent of the background role that Hackett often played in Genesis. His lead on Money is practically ostenado.

Only on Tired World did they let him really rip loose and sound like he would later on captivating Wind Him Up of of Worlds Apart or the stunning fretwork of Heads or Tails's Pitchman. Rochon's keyboards mainly dominate this album and Critchton can mostly be heard paralleling or exchanging lines with Rochon. And although he adds flash in Ice, it's still mainly interchange with Rochon's lead.

In retrospect, it seems that Saga's promoters started to realize that they could promote Crichton as a shredder extraordinaire. And by Heads or Tails, he dominates the sound on their best songs (Flyer, Catwalk, Social Orphan, and of course Pitchman). But as they moved toward the mainstream shredder thing, they seemed to balance the pop with a type of guitar-rock that sort of drowned out the prog elements--although Crichton always remained a player to take notice of. (As a guitar player, I will always enjoy Heads, just like I enjoy almost everything Steve Hackett does on Wild Orchids in a straight guitar sense, prog or not.)

But I think makes Tired World what it is, it has more of Crichton's trademark lead flubbing, while still featuring interplay with Gilmour in the classic prog sense. Crichton's phrase inversion in the call-and-answer phrase after Sadler sings A Tired World adds dynamic punch and discord that turns the otherwise sleepy phrase tired world into the desolation and distopia suggested by the verses.

It's quite a good album. I give it a 4 straight up at rhapsody. But I also give it somewhere in the area of 3.5 stars in the progarchives scale. It's a fine addition, and if you're going to add a Saga album to your collection, it should probably contain Tired World.

axeman | 4/5 |

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