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LIVE AT THE POINT

Magenta

Neo-Prog


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Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I bought this album thinking it might be recorded after Magenta had released their Metamorphosis CD. However, I found a little late Live At The Point to be captured during the time they had just put out their The Singles collection. If Magenta´s first double live CD seemed a little ´too-soon´ affair, the same feeling applies here. Even more so if you think in the meantime they had not actually add much to their studio discography. Besides their Home CD was not their best and the singles compilation had little new material.

Having said that I must also say I like this CD a lot. Magenta has proved to be a great band live, as their The Gathering DVD clearly showed the ones who were not able to attend their live concerts. Rob Reed (keyboards) is a fantasitic and prolific songwriter and Christina Booth is surely one of prog´s best female singers to appear in the new millenium. As for the setlist itself, the majority of the first CD is dedicated to then new Home album. Although the live renditions of that repertoire are quite good and sometimes even superior to their studio counterparts, the highlights are the single´s Speechless and the two songs from their Seven masterpiece: both Anger and Envy tourned out to be absolute great!

CD 2 is almost totally devoted to their debut, Revolutions. The only exception is another track from Seven, a wonderful version of Sloth, quite superior to the original one. In fact, I think this CD have a stronger overall tracklist and the band is on top form too. Production is excellent and Christina is singing better than ever.

Conclusion: it would be great if the band waited a little before releasing another double live album. However, the high quality of the musicians, the tasteful arrangements and the strong deliver of most tracks are quite charming. If you´re fan of the band, go for it, even if there is nothing really new here. If you´re not this is a good way to know this very great prog outfit from England. Not really essential, but excellent anyway. 3,5 stars.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#204983)
Posted Tuesday, March 03, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars It's a really good album. Magenta seems to be one of the few bands that sound even better live than they sound in the studio, Perhaps that's thanks to Christina Booth's crisp vocals and less rigid arrangements than those found on the studio albums. The song selection leaves nothing to be desired plus the soloes and improvs have a very vibrant feel. This is a top-of-the-shelf album for any neo-prog fan and because it's a quite a long, double CD release, it can also serve as a sort of definitive cross-section of Magenta's first three albums (sadly it does not include their newest work, Metamorphosis).

My perosnal favourite on this album is Sloth, from their second album. That track, with the live arrangement, signifies all the positivities of the whole genre of neo-prog.

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Send comments to Ampersand (BETA) | Report this review (#230133)
Posted Wednesday, August 05, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Me too wonder why this live album was released some months after the Metamorphosis studio album........ without including anything from that album ! It was a very strange decission, to say at least. The result is a bit of a pointless live album and the band deserve a good spanking for this idea.

But this double live CD has been released and I we have to treat it on it's own merits. It contains songs from all their studio albums, with the exception of the Metamorphosis album. That makes it two double live albums on the basis of three studio albums and some EPs. Well, I am sure they are able to sleep at night. I do not know if I should laugh or cry.

The music on this double live album is great. Magenta's sound is based on Rob Reed's keyboards, Christina Booth's voice and by the solo guitars from Chris Fry and Martin Rossen. That's their formula and it is a good formula. The sound is at times a bit light and poppy. I call it prog-light as in Bud-Light, the beer with the same name. But it is still prog rock somewhere between symphonic prog and neo-prog. The songs on this album is delivered with passion and belief. The small talk between the songs are charming. It also deliver home the truth that this is a real live album. Compared to their last live album Another Time... Another Place, I find Live At The Point a lot less symphonic prog. For me, that's a loss. But the songs from Seven and Home is more than making up for the slight change of direction. The sound on this live album is excellent and the band knows their trade. I hope Magenta one day will break out and make it big. They fully deserve it and those of us who believe in this band deserve to be proven right.

For me, this is a cosy, but still a bit pointless live album. But I happens to really like it and it will be a very regular item on my playlists during the coming months.

3.75 stars

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Send comments to toroddfuglesteg (BETA) | Report this review (#231179)
Posted Wednesday, August 12, 2009 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Errors and Omissions Team
4 stars "A drink has suddenly appeared" said Christina Booth after "The Journey" song. And few others, not with music connected words after end of some tracks.

When I saw Magenta's live album, I looked to tracklist and was searching for songs from "Seven". One-two-three tracks are there, fortunately the better ones. But they could have choose more of them, it's their best album (my opinion) after all.

Magenta is good example of what is in my mind under name "nice, good, new prog". Other one is "not so nice sounding, good prog". I mean, this is not death metal, this is other side of it. And that's something I can appreciate. So, we like live albums because of they stands as some kind of "best of" (they're not gonna choose bad tracks for live gig, right?), only difference is that the songs are played with slightly different sound, no hours of trying in studio. That's biggest advantage of live version. There are some minuses (-) also, most prominent is probably that the sound can be not so clear, some hates audience clapping and so on.

OK, that's the theory. Now I wanna confront myself and decide whether or not to give 5 stars. There has to be reason why to give good rating, or explanation why to give bad one ? I would be more pleased if there would be everything from Seven, but that's not my choice, is it ? Do yourself a favour, listen to track "Envy" there is explanation why I like her vocal style. Then try "Anger" and see for yourself (hear) these rumors about guitar solos. Despite it's a short track, it can prove itself.

I'm quite surprised. On every album I've ever heard was track that I disliked, or at least skipped all the time. But there are all good ones. That's new, but nice.

I think this is masterpiece, I can't see any disadvantage. I rated other albums with one-two little mistakes with five stars also and this is even better.

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Send comments to Marty McFly (BETA) | Report this review (#231521)
Posted Friday, August 14, 2009 | Review Permalink

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