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MIA - Magicos Juegos Del Tiempo CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.28 | 36 ratings

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Cesar Inca
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars M.I.A.'s second album finds this peculiar ensemble exploring the realms of acoustic folk and Renaissance-inspired pastoral music with particular interest; even if this stuff is not all that is represented in the album's repertoire, it is indeed the most recurrent factor. The Baroque academicism is also very present here, especially in many of the piano parts. The harmonic basis for the first three tracks heavily rely on the arpeggio sequences delivered on classical guitars and/or grand piano, with the female and/or male vocals strongly staging the main melodic lines: the sung parts not only tell tales of sweet princesses and majestic windmills, but they also incarnate the main motifs to the songs, providing an evidently bucolic ambience of ancient enchantments and troubadour stories. Track 2 'Crisálida, Mi Niña' is a bit more surprising than the other two, since it comprises some symphonic nuances on the keyboard department, which add an air of mystery. The more habitual sense of energy of M.I.A. first emerges in track 4, titled 'Antiguas Campanas del Pueblo': starting with a very jazzy motif, it won't be long before it turns into an interlude of bombastic chorale sustained on a series of solemn organ layers - after that, another jazz-oriented comes out, including a very intense synthesizer solo (very much a-la 'Tarkus'). Great stuff. although not as great as the 11-minute 'Archipiélagos de Güernaclara', which is the absolute prog highlight in the album. It starts with a delicate, relaxing piano passage, soon joined and enriched by the classical guitar and Liliana Vitale's singing; next, a jazzy jam comes in and gives room for some excellent alternating guitar and piano solos, as well as the occasional introduction of a clavinet interlude, after which the electric lead guitar returns with a vengeance. Finally, a slower part takes the track to its final climax, which built upon the antagonistic contrast between the eerie Hammond Gothic-inspired layers and the fiery Akkerman-meets-Gilmour-esque guitar solo. This description is basically to let you know about its internal diversity, which is cohesively articulated, with the same level of accomplishment you may find in the longest tracks of the other two M.I.A. albums. Track 6 is pretty much similar to track 2: an acoustic piece with a progressive interlude, while the last song sticks with the old Renaissance subject. All in all, "Mágicos Juegos del Tiempo" is a very good album, but it is only recommended to those prog-heads who don't mind a certain amount of pastoral stuff and female singing in their prog; besides, the previous and posterior albums are more accomplished, and definitely, more according to the nuclear essence of prog rock, so I'll have to label this album as not overtly essential. Anyway, keep this in mind: tracks 4 & 5 are really awesome.
Cesar Inca | 3/5 |


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