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Saga - Trust CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.80 | 170 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars "Scratching the surface. You better come up for air. A new experience to get you there."

Saga was another one of those bands I had only marginal interest in that appeared on late night music video TV. The chorus of the song was catchy and memorable, but like Yes, Genesis, Glass Tiger and a few other bands that were not despicable pop bands like Culture Club and Wham, Saga was actually just a mild respite from top forty pop drivel while I waited for a new video by Accept, Scorpions, Iron Maiden, or any other metal band that might have a video slotted in just before the closing credits of the show. So, I was very surprised to learn on PA that Saga was not only a distinguished neo-prog/crossover prog band with a long history but also the guys were fellow Canuckleheads (Canadians).

It's always a challenge when picking up a band for the first time to choose the album that is going to be worth the money and get me interested in the band. I read the reviews on PA, check out samples on Amazon and iTunes if possible, or go to YouTube, and then make my choice. For Saga I decided the album that would most suit my taste was this one: 'Trust'.

Have you ever seen the Australian comedy movie 'Strictly Ballroom'? A young hot shot dancer with some fancy steps wants to turn the ultra conservative Ballroom Dance Association around. He hooks up with an unknown Spanish immigrant woman whose father teaches them how to dance the Pasa Doble. The result is this couple add something completely new and unheard of to ballroom dance, shocking some while thrilling others.

'Trust' reminded me of that movie because regarding the song length and structure, this album looks by all means to be a traditional rock album: 4 to 5-minute long songs, verse- chorus-verse-chorus, etc. But the music is like the fancy steps in the Aussie flick. Keyboards dance with neo-prog flair all over the album while guitar with hard rock and even metal sensibilities takes turns with the keyboards to show off fancy finger steps. Though the drumming is not exceptional and the bass nothing outstanding, the music on this album is as good as any bona fide neo-prog or even symphonic prog band might produce. It's just shorter and often quicker, licks and tricks darting in and out of the song like a bat out of hell hunting locusts. There's a wonderful duel and duality between the keyboards and the guitar, and vocalist Michael Sadler's voice holds the songs together with liquid smoothness. It sounds like commercial rock, but with something that goes beyond your top forty rock output.

I haven't yet picked out any non-interesting tracks, but the ones I enjoy the most right now are 'That's as Far as I'll Go,' 'Back to the Shadows,' 'I'm OK' (for the music), 'Time to Play,' and 'Trust'. But as I listen through the rest of the album for nearly the tenth time I still find I am enjoying most of the songs, usually for the music. What could have been an arena rock album is delightfully neo-prog in many ways. I am now looking at which of Saga's other albums will be worth purchasing. With 34 years and 22 albums of history, there's bound to be some great music to discover.

FragileKings | 4/5 |


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