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Magenta - Night And Day (with Annie Haslam) CD (album) cover




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4 stars The wonderful voice of Annie Haslam always lends an air of quality to any song. For this EP she has teamed up with Magenta and the almost equally wonderful voice of Christina Booth. The title song is composed by Christina and Magenta's main man Rob Reed and, as Annie says on the cover, it is reminiscent of Renaissance's "Northern Lights". The highlight is the wonderful chorus which sticks in your brain from the first hearing.

The EP features 3 versions of the title track - the main version, an "Evening Mix" and a duet version with Christina. The fourth track is a Rob Reed instrumental called "Essence of Love".

The Evening Mix is basically the main version with most of the drums and guitars removed. This has the benefit of removing the slightly annoying bass drum which is mixed too high in the original and also highlights the beautiful Uilleann pipes and flutes. The duet version is pretty much as it says - Christina shares the vocals with Annie. Rob Reed's instrumental is nice if fairly inconsequential.

In summary, I have only heard the title song a few times but the chorus is firmly lodged in the old music memory now and if only this could get some radio time, I'm sure it could be a hit. Highly recommended for all Renaissance, Annie Haslam and Magenta fans.

Report this review (#92640)
Posted Friday, September 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars Whilst I am happy to agree that the, in essence, two tracks on the EP are well-constructed and well-performed and that Annie Haslam's voice is as excellent as usual, I can't help but feel a little 'ripped-off' at paying good money for two tracks.

I know that the three versions of the same song all have their own nuances and individually are all most enjoyable but they are still a musical Borg, i.e. of the one.

I would have awarded at least one star extra if we had been given at least three different songs on the EP. It is not as if one or more of the versions is super-long.

My award is in essence 2.5 stars but I rounded down.

(p.s. I do agree that the song should be a hit but we live in an age where the masses do not seem to value talent and real music as much as name and celebrity)

Report this review (#114678)
Posted Friday, March 9, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars First of all, I usually hate remixes. So, having three versions of the same song was not per se what I could expect from a "Magenta" EP.

The original song ("Night & Day") being average, nothing grandiose could be awaited I guess. I even prefer the "Evening Mix". Lighter, with almost piano for a big part, the song sounds simpler and the folkish atmosphere is more in the front-line.

The marketing argument is of course the "duet mix".

Christina together with Annie Haslam. An interesting selling point. Actually, one gets the impression of getting an echoed song. Two voices of truly the same type performing together. Not bad of course (these two vocalist are really very good ones and have prrofed it already), but a bit too "short" to consider this EP more than a collector item than a masterpiece.

"Magenta" 's leader, Rob Reed was more inspired with his former "Cyan" than on this EP, that's a given fact. This piece of instrumental music does not rank in the best of their repertoire.

Bearing in mind all the above, two stars seems the most logical rating to me.

Report this review (#151926)
Posted Tuesday, November 20, 2007 | Review Permalink

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