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Magenta - Home + New York Suite CD (album) cover





3.76 | 95 ratings

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3 stars It's not what I expected when I pre-ordered

Based on great advertisement right here at this site I pre-ordered this special edition couple of weeks ago and arrived to me quite fast - faster than my expectation. It's great, because typically it takes three weeks from UK to my hometown. When I opened the package I was bit disappointed with the CD package as it did not meet my expectation. Reading the communication / promotion kit from the label I expected the special edition package would come with something that look luxurious: wonderful artwork and beautiful sleeve notes. I found nothing and it's enough for me to say that the packaging is very disappointing. When I say so, I compare with recent prog music issues like The Flower Kings "Paradox Hotel" which even I ordered the regular edition from amazon but I got a really beautiful package with 2 CDs. All the artwork and CD sleeves are truly excellent and it sets new standard of prog music package. It's also the same thing with The TANGENT "A Place In The Queue" which has a truly wonderful artwork by Ed Unitsky (the Roger Dean of 2000s, I think). Also, I can find another great package of Roine Stolt's "Wallstreet Voodoo" or even Arena "Peppers and Ghosts". All of them are presented wonderfully. But Magenta "Home" Special Edition? It's nothing man! It's very disappointing, I tell you! It's not worth the money at all. Even, there is no single word from the band telling the background of this album etc. (which I easily found with Roine Stolt's "Wallstreet Voodoo" at the first page, telling how he grew up with the late 60's music etc. etc.).

OK OK .. that's the CD package, what about the music? Fortunately you have good music even though the CD package is lousy. For those of you who love beautiful melody which by first spin engages your mind, this is definitely an album for you because almost all tracks are accessible to many ears. Neo prog lovers would definitely love this album as well because the music resembles the old days of neo prog with sometimes mellow music, slow to medium tempo, nice and stunning guitar work and touchy piano work. I don't have the right words in English but for my local language the key characteristic of neo prog is "mendayu-ndayu" (oh .. for those who understand how to translate this term into English, please do let me now). It's basically a composition that flows smoothly and naturally (most of the time you can predict how the chords and notes are about to move from one segment to another) with mellow or slow to medium tempo and relatively simple arrangement. A good example of this characteristic is shown completely and perfectly at track 3 "Moving On" of Disc One.

Good music, accessible, memorable melodies, good harmony - and then what? That's a challenging question I have for the band. Why? Comparing to their other studio albums like "Revolutions" and "Seven" this album is musically much more original. As you might check with my review on "Revolutions", I truly adore this album even though I know that the music is not really original - many influences from Genesis and Marillion - I like the melody and composition. The next album "Seven" gave the band a much maturity in delivering their music even tough there are segments that resemble the music of Yes. For this aspect, I do not see any similarity of any segment in the whole disc One that resembles to other older bands. I salute the band on embarking their music into a much original composition.

The music flows naturally from one track to another, with good melody and nice vocal of Christina. The problem I have with listening to this album in its entirety is the similarity of nuance from one track to another - it seems flat to me and it does not lift my emotion in any segment of the music through out one entire disc. Yes there are memorable segments but there are little variations in terms of compositions that finally make me getting bored with the music. Oh yes, there are great sounds of organ that remind me to Procol Harum but with modern sound and also stunning guitar work, but then what? I still get bored. It's probably there is nothing energetic in the music.

Disc 2 is a bonus disc for special edition package and it comprises 5 tracks. "Arrival" is a great composition with beautiful orchestra combined with neo prog music, characterized with stunning guitar work combined with keyboards. This track is quite energetic and should have been included as part of Disc One for variation. I enjoy the guitar solo work - it's really excellent. The other tracks are also good ones with excellent sound production.

Overall, this is a good album with excellent sonic production (Disc One and Two). The compositions are also good but when the CD is listened to in its entirety, I get bored because little variations from one track to another. The CD package is lousy artwork. The band must learn from The Flower Kings, The Tangent, Pain of Salvation etc. on how to create excellent artwork Look at the front cover artwork - you might associate this with first Peter Gabriel's first album. Peter's one is better than this one. And I think, artwork and CD package in prog music is a crucial element. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 3/5 |


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