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Saga - Generation 13 CD (album) cover

GENERATION 13

Saga

 

Crossover Prog

3.94 | 105 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
5 stars My generation

It is a little bit of a mystery how such an average band as Saga could make such a brilliant album as Generation 13, but this is a much more convincing and rewarding work than your average Saga album and indeed this conceptual album stands head and shoulders above all other Saga albums. First of all, being a concept album, Generation 13 is much more elaborated and versatile than anything else Saga did, before or after. Secondly, this is a much darker and heavier affair compared to their other works, both musically and in its subject matter. Actually, comparisons to Arena's masterpiece Contagion and Queensryche's classic Operation Mindcrime suggest themselves.

The concept of the album concerns the so called 13th Generation that (as far as I understand) include people born between 1961 and 1981. If that is correct we are talking about my generation here since I was born in 1981. The album has as many as 25 tracks, but many of them are short and the album is best seen as one continuous whole. Admittedly there are some slightly annoying moments, but the album holds together so well that they can be forgiven. There are some spoken word on top of the music and some of the spoken passages are, as I said, slightly annoying like the reoccurring "my name is Sam", but it does not distract too much from the great music.

The music alternates between quieter and louder passages and several musical themes return in several different songs. The vocals are very convincing and there is a wide array of instruments including piano and acoustic guitar as well as a full orchestra on some parts adding great depth to Saga's often quite light and superficial sound. The electric guitar work is also great, surprisingly sometimes reminding me of Allan Holdsworth's style! I find no weak aspects of the sound at all. Some parts have a Metal sound and there is very little of the Pop-Prog we are used to from Saga. The keyboards are often piano or organ rather than 80's synthesisers.

The best individual track is The 13th Generation, which stands as one of my favourite Saga songs of all time. But also The Cross and the two Chances Are pieces that open and close the album are great. But, as I said, the album is best heard as a continuous piece. The hour long album offers diversity and keeps the listener interested with great melodies. This is Saga's masterpiece and very highly recommended! Even for people who normally don't like Saga!

SouthSideoftheSky | 5/5 |

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