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5 stars Quite simply, a masterpiece. If this band had Evanescence's marketing and promo budget, they would be Top 10 with this EP. Call Me (2004) is the best power ballad I have **EVER** heard - no s**t.

Christina's voice is nothing short of perfect, the musicianship behind her nigh-on faultless. A major label needs to snap up Magenta sharpish - they deserve success on a global scale.

I have no financial interest in this band, so this is not a blatant plug.

Essential. Go and buy this (and the album, Seven) now. You will not regret it.


Report this review (#31240)
Posted Wednesday, June 16, 2004 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars MAGENTA is a band that keeps surprising me in a good way, first they hit the world with the symphonic "Revolutions" which was a breeze of fresh air for those of us that keep living in the shadow of the wonderful 70's, then came "Seven" with a Neo Prog' approach but without betraying their symphonic roots and now is the turn for "Broken", a more eclectic release that covers all the stages of the short MAGENTA career.

The first two albums were full of epics, in "Broken", the band plays shorter tracks but without loosing their essence. Who said all prog' songs must be longer than 5 minutes?

It's obvious that the band has developed a genuine unique sound even when we can listen the reminiscences of the 70's big prog' bands, but they turned more aggressive, with the opener track "Broken" a short story about vampirism, powerful rock song where all the members of the band are perfect, specially Christina with her impeccable voice and surprisingly Matthew Cohen who always stayed in the back, but now he takes a lead role supporting the melody and structure of the song with his strong bass, properly backed by Alan Mason-Jones and his precise drumming.

Let's not forget Martin Rosser, who complements Chris Fry and Rob Reed with his unique guitar style, seems like he plays from the dark hidden somewhere between keyboards and the lead guitar, but his contribution is crucial for the sound.

Not convinced if this track is 100% progressive rock but surely is first class rock with prog' tendencies and a stunning keyboard. Chris Fry's guitar reminds me of a Peruvian band called FRÁGIL, strong but somehow mysterious, a perfect mixture.

But the prog' fans will be pleased when they listen the third track "OPUS III" A short baroque church organ solo by Rob Reed that may become the symbol of MAGENTA, pure prog mixed with classical music that would make Johan Sebastian Bach proud of his legacy.

Opus III is simply perfect from start to end, leaves the listener with the honey in the lips wishing it could last at least 5 minutes more, but when a band leaves the audience asking for more you can be sure they're in the right path.

The rest of the tracks are also great but different to what MAGENTA has offered us before, Call Me is an excellent Power Ballad, Lemminkainen's Lament is more melancholic and the string mix of Sloth (from Seven) is incredibly beautiful.

A must have for any prog' fan because "Broken" proves that good music can be released in the XXI Century.

Even when Revolutions is more brilliant I will give "Broken" 5 solid stars because they are proving a band can evolve without selling out to mainstream just to get more profit.

MAGENTA fans are waiting with impatience their next release, and as I said before, if the audience keeps asking for more, you must be sure the band is going in the right path

Report this review (#31241)
Posted Saturday, September 25, 2004 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars This is a good EP that is sort of a companion with the "Seven" album. 26 minutes of great music.

The title song is powerful in it's own way, with Christina's excellent vocals transcending the instrumental music that accompanies her. "Call Me" is a mellow song that is quite touching with fragile vocals.The song picks up tempo considerably towards the end with drums pounding and an amazing guitar solo ! "Lemminkainen's Lament" is a melancholic tune with piano and strings. "Opus 3" is an instrumental featuring a church organ. "Sloth" is another fantastic song, with strings, piano and vocals. This is a song that was on the "Seven" album, and has been remixed here. I do prefer the original though.

This is an EP that is worth searching for my friends, highly recommended especially if your a MAGENTA fan. 3.5 stars.

Report this review (#99729)
Posted Monday, November 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Unfair. I don't find any other word to summarize the fact that Magenta seems almost unknown on this musical planet, prog or not. I mean, you have one incredible composer (Rob Reed), a bewitching female lead singer (Christina) and a bunch of talented musicians (Chris Fry and friends) and nobody cares ???

But it's never too late, is it ? If you want to discover the band, Broken can be a good place to start. This EP, about 25 minutes long, contains the five following songs :

"Broken", a light rocker where Christina sings the lament of vampires confronted to the angst of eternal life. Weird but brilliant.

"Call Me", an incredibly moving ballad about the lost of the man/woman beloved. The emotion goes crescendo, as Christina's voice, until the dazzling final solo.

"Lemminkainen's Lament", another fine ballad with celtic flavors.

"Opus 3", an organ driven instrumental. If I had to face the frightening experience of a church wedding, this is for sure the music I would like/need to be played to find the bravery to drag on to the table .

"Sloth", the third and last ballad of the EP, close to the version that features on the Pride album but with strings instead of guitars. The esoteric lyrics evoke, in a very poetic way, a native Indian prayer.

All in all, I don't know if the music here can be seen as prog rock and in which sub- category it should be put but it is flawless, really. So do yourself a favor, try Magenta before the lack of success sends them to the eternal night where they don't belong .

Report this review (#113748)
Posted Tuesday, February 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This EP accompanied my daily commute to work for several weeks. After a brief period with other music playing it reappeared again when I got asked to work away from home and the commute got replaced by a walk to work - the shortness of the tracks fitting in nicely with the shorter journey. With five tracks and a total of 25 minutes it makes an excellent introduction to Magenta and the music they play, but without the long tracks:

Broken is a fabulous opener, about vampires and the pain of immortality, fully showing off Christina's voice.

Call Me is my personal favourite. Originally this turned up on the Cyan album 'For King and Country' (Cyan being a Rob Reed previous solo project on which he played all the instruments). For this version some lyrics have been added about lost and refound love. It starts as a very gentle track, building to powerful finale.

Lemminkainen's Lament, is a ballad which was originally on a Finnish album called "Kalevala - A Finnish Progressive Rock Epic". I haven't heard the original but this version has certainly been given the celtic twist by adding pipes. Nice, but the weakest track on the album. Lemminkainen is a mythical Finnish hero who appears in the Kalevala which is an epic poem.

Opus 3 - Wow! This organ instrumental is just superb, recalling some of Rick Wakeman's extravagances, it is awesome! Turn it up loud! And if you are wondering, Opuses 1 and 2 are on the Magenta album Revolutions and sound nothing like this.

Sloth is a remix of the track off Seven adding in strings and taking out some of the other instruments. A delicious track.

Overall, an absolute gem, one I have listened to again and again. Get it now!

Report this review (#122271)
Posted Tuesday, May 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars On their first two albums, "Magenta" mixed a symphonic rock fully influenced by "Renaissance" (piano parts and vocals) + "Genesis" + "Yes". At times even over-exaggerating to be honest. Several parts of their songs being obviously stolen which was a bit of a pity.

The title track "Stolen" is probably the more "Magenta" inspired one since they play music (finally). It is also the first time IMO, that this band produces a fully neo-prog song. Harder than usual but still very melodic and an outstanding vocal work from Christina Murphy. It is my favourite song from this EP and an indication that the band can also play original music.

"Call Me" is far from this very good opening. A piano / vocals duet with no melody, little depth. It only starts when it is almost over. Orchestrations are also useless (but this is a general remark for this EP). Great guitar break which is the only positive point to be noticed.

Even if "Lemminkainen" features some nice celtic instrumentation, strings and global feelingless mood are a bit too much. Like "Call Me" this song seriously lack of passion. A kind of rendez-vous with folk-prog this time. Classic music being on the menu with "Opus 3".

The string mix for "Sloth" is also a bit superfluous. The original song was good and featured a great and Gilmouresque guitar solo. Instead we get emulated violin sounds & tutti quanti. Too much. It is hard to remain awaken during these long and dull ten minutes.

This EP is the most personal work from "Magenta" but I can't really be enthusiastic about it. Of course, orchestrations have never been (and never will) my stuff. If it weren't for the title track, this work should be for completionists only IMO. As such, for fans only. Two stars.

Report this review (#148788)
Posted Sunday, November 4, 2007 | Review Permalink

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