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Magnum - Sleepwalking CD (album) cover

SLEEPWALKING

Magnum

 

Prog Related

2.82 | 32 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
2 stars They are indeed "sleepwalking" for more than half the album!

Magnum seems to have been working on an every-second-album basis, alternating between weak and less weak albums ever since the mid 80's. After the good On A Story Teller's Night came the very weak Vigilante album, and after that one came Wings Of Heaven, which is one of Magnum's best albums. Following Wings Of Heaven came another weak album with Goodnight L.A. The pattern is followed here again with a slightly better album this time around. Sadly, it is not much better and it is far behind the best of the band's albums.

The cover art reminds me slightly of Marillion's Fugazi, but musically it is closer to Holidays In Eden (not that it is that close). The album opens with the slow ballad Stormy Weather, a very good song. Then there are a couple of throwaway Hard Rockers that we would have done much better without. It indeed sounds as if the band were merely "sleepwalking" on such mundane Rock numbers. That Too Much To Ask goes on for almost five minutes without anything interesting happening at all is really inexcusable. You're The One is not much better. My advice is to use the skip button here.

This brings us to The Flood. This song has the same dark mood and slow tempo as Stormy Weather but features some more explosive passages and solos making is something of a semi-ballad. A good song! Broken Wheel is a more traditional (power) ballad based on piano and Bob Catley's distinctive vocals. There is nothing to catch the Prog fans attention here but it is not a poor song. Just One More Heartbreak is more of a Pop Metal song with synth-brass and female backup singers, sounding like it's straight out of the 80's - another one to skip. Not until the title track does the album get back on track again. This track features a very nice acoustic guitar solo section, backed by keyboards building up to the chorus.

The closing track is actually also quite decent but, despite its length (seven minutes) and its slight blues/jazz influence, there is no question as to it being progressive. Together with the other good and decent songs I have mentioned, this manages to, just barely, save this album from the same fate as Vigilante and Goodnight L.A., namely the one star rating.

Recommended only to fans and collectors

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |

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