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Salem Hill - Mimi's Magic Moment CD (album) cover

MIMI'S MAGIC MOMENT

Salem Hill

 

Neo-Prog

3.78 | 84 ratings

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Squire Jaco
4 stars On "Mimi's Magic Moment", Salem Hill (like Glass Hammer) unabashedly pulls out nearly all of the classic progressive rock cliches to which we became accustomed in the 1970's - lush synthesizers, fast organ solos, the occasional odd meter and key change, epic-length tracks, inspiring lyrics, etc.

At first listen, I sort of held that against them, and was looking for something a bit more original and perhaps less mellow. But I could not deny that they play this type of music flawlessly well, and I actually found myself humming some of the refrains and melodies only a day or so after I had purchased the cd. This is a pretty good album.

Their sound is closest to Glass Hammer and Kansas on this cd - two groups that I really like. (Lo and behold, GH's Fred Schendel plays piano on one song, and David Ragsdale from late Kansas is all over this thing.) I'm also a sucker for vibraphone and tubular bells, which are sprinkled in here and there. Neal Morse's vocals on the first track are an added plus too, though I find the vocals by Carl Groves and others to be very good in their own right.

There is over 62 minutes of music comprised of just four songs on this album, each between 7 and 21 minutes. It seems like their modus operandi on most songs are: 1.) Start with slower ballad-like singing in 4/4 time. 2.) Kick it into faster, odd-tempo jazz/prog instrumental for a few minutes 3.) Return to song and resolve the story.

Their instrumental sections really are fun, if somewhat familiar sounding at times. And their lyrics fit the songs well, even if they tend to be a little bit cheesy in places. I really like the symbolic meaning behind the lyrics of "The Joy Gem" in particular. And you'll be singing along on the inspirational refrain of "Stolen By Ghosts" on the very first listen. If you enjoy classic symphonic prog played in a modern way with crystal clear production, you will not be disappointed with "Mimi"...whoever she is?

Squire Jaco | 4/5 |

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