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Saga - The Beginners Guide to Throwing Shapes CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.00 | 116 ratings

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2 stars Huh? After listening to this album many times I still do not see how it is a 'comeback' or 'return to form' album. It is better than the previous 2 albums "Behaviour" and worse yet "Wildest Dreams". But this is not a Saga that I can easily say is anything like the one of the first 4 albums which is the core foundation for the band. "Heads Or Tales" was not all that great either and started them down the path of trying to create pop success.

As far as I am concerned Saga took a full decade off from putting out good albums. They put out the really good 4 followed by the not so good 4 but this album marked the end of the slide. Sure, the slide was slowing on this record but not enough. Saga is hard enough to categorize as prog for many people so it doesn't take much to push them into pop land chasing new wave sensibilities which is what they did.

When they sacked Steve Negus (drums) and Jim Gilmour (keys) it was said to be over management issues but that may be a mask for musical direction. They went on to form a band of their own. Thankfully they came back for the follow up to this album.

The songs that stand out a little are "How Do I Look" which is good but there is too much overly digital electronic noise with a disco beat. The guitar work is good which is why the song is notable. "Shape" is decent enough. The song "The Nineties" is catchy and not such a bad tune. But again they focused too much on electronic sounds which was part of that era but not part of who they were.

If this is a 'return to form' it is only a return to "heads Or Tales" which is a far cry from their earlier work. At least they were about to do something to make right some wrongs.

Sidscrat | 2/5 |


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