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Saga - Network CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.46 | 113 ratings

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3 stars In slowly going through their collection ( starting with my own collection , then as budget and availability allows, once more thanks Spin-It used LP section), I find myself using most of the same descriptions for their music. Neo before Neo, modern prog, heavy symphonic leaning, etc ...

So this time, I'll start with a quick summary - this is a very good Saga album. If you're a fan, and you don't have it yet, get it. Apart from a few that are rated under 3 here at PA, Saga has the consistency in putting out quality material that their fans can count on, and in return, makes it clear why this band has been able to build a 30 plus year career in music.

This album has a heavier tone to it, with Ian Crichton's guitar moving more to the fore than others. On the mid-point of Keep it Reel, we even have him giving Eddie Van Halen a reminder primer of what Eddie used to be able to do. And also a good example that supports many a Saga fan's claim to the man being underrated as a musician. Indeed, this album has but two through & through ballads - If I Were You, and Outside Looking In. The rest are typical Saga prog rockers. In a way, the group was putting out heavier music during the new millenium than their countrymen Rush. Was Saga simply reflecting the aspects of its' sound that had become so standard in much of today's Neo & Crossover prog music ? In a way, I wonder if they might garner more respect & attention if they were a new band just starting out with this release ...

Live at Five harks back to Heads Or Tales with the main guitar riff sounding more like some modern metal bands, before Ian Crichton & Jim Gilmour return to glory days' memories of their magical interplay.

Now , as I try to wrap up this rather meandering review, I suggest, I recommend this album to all Saga fans from their glory period. I also believe that fans of Pendragon's Pure, of the later IQ releases and other Neo bands like Arena, would be well advised to search this album, along with other releases and see just how these old fogeys match and sometimes beat the "rookies" at a game that Saga played first. Not the greatest album, but one very satisfying. I'd give it a 3.5, but I can't round it up. So a 3 with a wee bit of guilt for the lowball.

debrewguy | 3/5 |


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