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Saga - Images At Twilight CD (album) cover

IMAGES AT TWILIGHT

Saga

 

Crossover Prog

3.10 | 143 ratings

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debrewguy
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Images at Twilight - where Saga, like most musical acts hits the dreaded sophomore slump. Kind of.

Is it that Jim Crichtan & Michael Sadler likely handled most of the keyboards. Much of the keyboard work seems to follow the melody line, rarely offering counterpoint, memorable solos or the interplay with Ian Crichton that I find so characterizes their sound. ( Rumour has it that Greg Chadd did not last long with the group). Is it a songwriting slump, where your debut consists of the songs of your live show, and then you face having to come up with the new album while touring, and then in the studio where time is at a premium ? For whatever reason, it comes across as a poor cousin to the debut.

Although the song Images continued to build what would be the prototypical classic 80s Neo sound, the rest , for the most part come across as a heavier version of the synth pop that would populate the early 80s music scene. Yes, their lyrical content was way above the girl/boy concerns of groups like Human League, and Ian Crichton's style of guitar playing was nowhere to be found in that scene. You're not Alone does have a bit of latin influence to it, And it did come to find a spot as a concert mainstay. But the songs, especially the choruses seem to have a more commercial bent that overwhelmed the prog credentials that I found on the debut. Where the debut incorporated the pop aspect influenced by Queen as one of the many components of their sound, on Images at Twilight, it seemed to dominate.

Case in point, my favourite song from the album , Slow Motion comes across as a sophisticated synth pop dance song. The rhythm section of Ian Crichton & Steve Negus provided the group with a solid rock backing that often gave their songs a "danceable" beat. Not disco, not even what was derivisely called White Boy Funk , but in a way, you could say it was prog dance music.

So Saga retains the polished & professional sound (did they ever put out an album that sounded bad?). But for the rest . well . if you loved the mid 80s Adult Oriented radio format to your liking (not the Album Oriented format that was more guitar based), then this might be worth a spin. For those who enjoyed Pomp Rock, this is a good version of the pop side of it. For the rest of us, this is only a must if you're looking to have the entire Saga collection.

debrewguy | 2/5 |

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