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Saga - Worlds Apart CD (album) cover

WORLDS APART

Saga

 

Crossover Prog

3.61 | 154 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Tonight they're on the loose!

1981 was a very good year for Canadian progressive rock, two of our best known bands of the time released their most critically acclaimed and commercially successful work, despite the hard times for the progressive scene. Many people know that Canadian progressive megalodons Rush released their hyper-hit Moving Pictures in this year, but here's another gem that may have been overlooked. Saga had been kicking around in the mid to late 70s, never quite getting the recognition they deserved until this album broke them into the mainstream. Worlds Apart continues the band's Queen-meets-Rush kind of sound with their unique blend of keyboards and guitars in harmony, except this time they got everything right, and everything fell into place.

The band has a very large and uneven output, calling them anything but prolific would be a crime, but this is arguably their most solid release to date. With three hits and a number of great supporting songs this is a must for any progressive music collector, assuming you don't mind a bit of commercial rock in your music. In which case, the elistests should probably steer clear ? those still interested are in for a great treat.

Right off the get go this album snags the listener and pulls them in, never letting go. On The Loose gets things started with a trademark keyboard riff before exploding into full motion, Sadler's vocals mixing perfectly with Ian Crighton's engaging riffs and solos. Saga may not have been the wisest when it came to the placement of slow songs, many times the tracks on their albums are out of place, ruining the momentum and overall flow. Time's Up defies that logic by offering a slow song as the second track and manages to keep attention through the whole thing. It may be the interesting use of voice effects on the chorus or just the overall beautiful melodies throughout, but this one's a killer. Wind Him Up is a song that every Canadian knows by heart, thanks to the CanCon radio restrictions (all stations must play 30% Canadian Content on any day) we've all heard this one a billion times, perhaps never knowing who it was by! Crighton's instantly recognizable riff off the top makes this one worth every second, especially with Sadler's more delicate vocals and backing keyboards in the breakdown nearing the end.

While the rest of the album may not be quite as recognizable as the first three songs (all regularly rotated on radio) there is no drop in quality at all. Amnesia is a quirky rocker, as is Frames. Conversations provides a nice instrumental break in the ending trio of songs, proving that while it may not be a YYZ, Saga can still break out the impressive instrumental weaponry. No Stranger (Chapter 8) is the impressive opus that finishes off the album with an emotional bang while carrying on the ''Chapters'' series that the band began on their first album (and would not revisit until Full Circle in 1999) along with the considerable slower No Regrets (Chapter5). However, it's The Interview that steals the show, thanks to Sadler's amazingly emotional delivery and the incredibly true and eerie story told by the lyrics.

Overall this is a solid album, one that no progger should be without. Canadians too, you should all have this one. While it may often be frowned upon to give a Prog-Related album 5 stars this is an album that would be more comfortable in the Crossover Category. Not to argue the place of the band on the website, just this album in particular. And with that somewhat unrelated rant out of the way I award this album 5 glowing stars out of 5 to give it (and the band) the recognition and respect that it (/they) deserve. Do yourself a favor and check it out!

Queen By-Tor | 5/5 |

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