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REVOLUTIONS

Magenta

Neo-Prog


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Magenta Revolutions album cover
3.55 | 139 ratings | 29 reviews | 26% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 (41:05):
Children Of The Sun (19:00)
1. i) Spirit Of The Land (4:22)
2. ii) The Journey (4:34)
3. iii) The Battle (5:02)
4. iv) Thanksgiving (5:18)
5. Opus 1 (0:51)
The White Witch (20:23)
6. i) Overture (0:41)
7. ii) The White Witch (6:27)
8. iii) The Plague (4:17)
9. iv) Reflection (4:53)
10. v) The Spell (4:37)

CD 2 (55:25):
Man The Machine (24:56)
1. i) Man and Machine (1:11)
2. ii) War (5:34)
3. iii) Rememberance (5:00)
4. iv) The Watchers (3:53)
5. v) Lightspeed (4:08)
6. vi) First Contact (4:54)
7. Opus 2 (1:16)
Genetesis (21:48)
8. i) The New Age (4:49)
9. ii) Renewed Purpose (4:45)
10. iii) A New Life (5:02)
11. iv) The Search For Faith (5:23)
12. v) The Creed (2:08)
13. The Warning (7:17)

Total Time: 96:30

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Christina Murphy / lead vocals
- Rob Reed / vocals, bass guitar, keyboards, electric and acoustic guitars, tambourine
- Tim Robinson / drums
- Chris Fry / lead guitar ("The White Witch" Pts 3/4/5 - "The Warning")
- Martin Shellard / lead guitar ("Genetesis")
- Andy Edwards / lead guitar ("The White Witch" Pt. 2)
- Tim Short / percussion

Releases information

2CD F2 Music Ltd. 200105 (2001) UK
2CD Tigermoth Records CDTMR004 (2007) UK

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Grendelbox for the last updates
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MAGENTA Revolutions ratings distribution


3.55
(139 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(26%)
26%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
46%
Good, but non-essential (20%)
20%
Collectors/fans only (6%)
6%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

MAGENTA Revolutions reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars A friend told me about this release about two years ago, with great emotion he started to describe it with this words: "Debut and double album recorded the year 2001, with four epics divided in parts like in "Close to the Edge" plus two acoustic songs, the band sounds as early GENESIS with a touch of YES". I thought this guy must be crazy. A symphonic album with epics in 2001? My surprise was double, the album is amazing, and everything my friend told me was true. In my opinion "Revolutions" is by far the best release from the last 15 years. The vocalist (Christina Murphy) reminds me of Stevie Nicks but with the operatic brilliance of Annie Haslam, simply perfect.

The first CD contains two epics "Children of the Sun" and "The White Witch" this suites are like a travel in time to the early 70's, all the symphonic magic of the of YES and GENESIS with a better production. The two epics are separated by a short acoustic named "Opus 1" that works as a moment to breath between the first two masterpieces. When I listen this small song I'm not sure if Rob Reed's main inspiration is only Steve HOWE because in some moments he reminds me of Steve HACKETT and his delicate style.

The second CD keeps almost the same structure, two multi part epics ("Man the Machine" and "Genetesis") separated by a short acoustic ("Opus II", in the same vein as the first one) and a mini epic "The Warning". I used to believe CD II was not as perfect as the first one but rediscovered the album in the past few days and now I love the two CD's just the same. CD II keeps the interest because the two epics have a more eclectic sound with influence of Neo Prog' and a touch of "Renaissance".

If you like Symphonic Prog'. This is the album you must buy, simply incredible, five solid stars.

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Send comments to Ivan_Melgar_M (BETA) | Report this review (#18143) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Review by James Lee
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Classic prog sounds meet neo-prog simplicity in this amiable but forgettable double-disc debut from MAGENTA. "Revolutions" is nothing revolutionary, but it is comfortable and pleasant and has something to offer anyone interested in a woman's voice atop a skilled band doing the classic prog sounds.

After a less-than-promising sampled vocal round, the overture begins; not quite a trip back to the 70s, but at least to the better parts of the 80s; crystal clean production allows us to hear the details of the sweeping, rolling epic that is "Children of the Sun". GENESIS and YES are definite influences, but the narrative is more straightforward- more operatic than poetic in presentation, although the tone seems more in keeping with a Norse epic (or a more classy Conan film). The instrumentation is also less experimental, taking the basic sounds from classic prog rock (buzzy analog synth leads, organ comping somewhere between KANSAS and "Watcher of the Skies", piano arpeggios, overdriven bass a la Squire or Wetton), adding a smooth 80s lead guitar tone and the occasional sampled strings. More attention will likely be paid to the vocals, and RENAISSANCE comparisons abound mainly because there are so few female singers in prog. Christina Murphy lacks the waifish undertone which moderated Annie Haslam's theatricality, reminding me more of Maggie Reilly (from MIKE OLDFIELD'S "To France") and, disturbingly, Olivia Netwon-John. The male vocalist does his part well enough, although the harmonies never quite mesh properly. The song itself is very nicely paced, even if the tension generated in "The Battle" never really earns the anthemic climax on "Thanksgiving". The use of recurring motifs is quite well done, managing to keep a common thread throughout 19 minutes without too much repetition. It's very slick and pleasant prog- not in an ALAN PARSONS PROJECT way, but more like classic 70s prog without as much virtuosity, complexity, jagged edges and muffled mystery.

"Opus 1" is a nice little classical guitar piece. It can't compete with "Mood for a Day", but it's not bad either.

"The White Witch" is a bit more moody, allowing Ms. Murphy the chance to wail a bit more; her tone, like the guitars, have a little more blues in them this time around. The drums are also a little more prominent (for better or worse- there are some nasty Jan Hammer-style synth toms) and we even get a little imitation-Mellotron thrown in. There's a voice-over narrative in "The Plague" that further illustrates the directness of the storytelling, but even without it there's little difficulty grasping the concept (this is neither mystic Jon Anderson nor metaphoric Gabriel lyricism). "Reflection" opens with a tinkling passage that strongly evokes GENESIS' "Entangled", at least until the vocals come in. Is she giving thanks again? Whatever else MAGENTA may be, they're grateful. A bit of reverse vocal trickery heralds the final movement, "The Spell", which is almost too much for me- the repetition of the incantation at the beginning grates on me, and the guitar solo is rather uninspired. Again, the obvious climax to the suite seems forced rather than, well, climactic.

Having done the fantasy thing twice now, MAGENTA turns towards sci-fi for "Man and Machine". They start out with a brief, jazzier element, the vocals and piano bouncing lightly against a bass counterpoint (maybe I have "Trick of the Tail" on the brain tonight, but this reminds me a lot of the title song's verse). "War" brings us back to the rock with a sad guitar lead (is he not in tune? something sounds off here) and the occasional industrial synth noise- to illustrate the 'machine', I presume. The vocal harmonies blend a bit better on this track than elsewhere, but still tend to remind me of "Xanadu" (not the RUSH song, the Jeff Lynne- produced, Olivia Newton-John sung OST). Hmm, the jumpy octave riff under the Numan-esque synth solo sounds suspiciously like the jumpy octave riff from the second part of "The White Witch". Maybe that's MAGENTA's 'thing'. The lyrics begin to approach laughable as they describe our growing servitude to machines ("from mobile phones to laptops/ the wonders never cease"..."internet and email/ let us worship you and praise"), and the anthemic style really doesn't allow for much emotional variety. Am I supposed to be concerned, scared, outraged or uplifted when she tells me the spy cameras are watching me? And what are the fireworks/ gunshots and church bells at the end of "Lightspeed" all about? Luckily, the classic alien deus ex machina appears at the end to save us (maybe with the advanced technology that MAGENTA has spent the last 20 minutes warning us about?).

"Opus 2"...by the way, opus generally means a work of paramount importance...is better than "Opus 1" but still not that impressive.

"Genetisis" rounds out the future half with a piece about genetics (of course). I'd say the title also referred to their GENESIS inspiration, but just to mess with us this song suite sounds much more YES-inspired (mainly the post-classic but pre-Rabin version); there's some Howe-ish guitar playing, some Anderson-ish vocal backgrounds and Wakeman-ish synth solos, and some odd meters (in case anyone was still unsure that this was prog). There's even a less-than-subtle "Heart of the Sunrise" riff that exemplifies MAGENTA's position as more than a tribute band but somewhat less than a unique entity. I lost track of the storyline somewhere between the new race of genetically engineered supermen and the religious turn at the end, but I have a feeling someone ended up thanking someone else for something.

"The Warning"...what are they warning us about? Long, pointless guitar solos, for one thing, with neither classic prog's experimentation nor prog-metal's virtuosity. This song has some interesting chord changes and some tumbling GENESIS keyboard arpeggios, but sounds unfinished.

Okay, I'm being more negative than this album deserves; the musicians are all skilled players and the performances are tight and beautifully recorded. There is a dedication to the sound of classic prog and an accessible quality that reminds me of later CAMEL and the neo-prog bands (especially PALLAS, but without as much heavy guitar). Ms. Murphy has respectable control and range, and provides the band's main hook- let's be honest, with a male lead singer this band would be significantly less interesting. As far as vocal quality goes, her clear and assured delivery suits the slick sound nicely without adding much distinctiveness . Someone compared her to Stevie Nicks...though I'm not a big fan of hers, I'd have to say that Christina's voice posesses absolutely none of the same instant recognition potential. And that pretty much sums up the band- the classic prog and neo-prog fan will be comfortable with the sound while discovering nothing new or even remarkable. One star (for bland lack of originality) or three stars (for a pleasant and competent performance, and also for debuting with a double album without much filler) averages out to two stars. Try it- it's completely safe, and you may find value I missed.

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Send comments to James Lee (BETA) | Report this review (#18145) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, August 27, 2004

Review by Fitzcarraldo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Having listened to this 2-CD set in its entirety on numerous occasions I was going to comment comprehensively but see that fellow reviewer James Lee has virtually read my mind, so read his review: there is no point me echoing much of what has already been written if I agree with it. The only difference of opinion I have with him is regarding the GENESIS and YES influences he hears in places: I am not reminded of either band when listening to this album and, in my opinion, MAGENTA pales in comparison. I suspect that if people buy this album hoping to be reminded of GENESIS or YES (at least in their earlier, great phase) then they could be disappointed. I am sad to say that about a contemporary Prog Rock band - a rare thing these days - when fans of the genre are clamouring for new, progressive rock music (or even new, good Prog Rock in the old style), but I won't be listening to this release again. If you want to make up your own mind then I suggest that you check out the MP3 samples on the band's Web site first before splashing out on this 2-CD set. As for my opinion, it's a 2-star release (Collectors/fans only). I don't hate it, but unfortunately it just does absolutely nothing for me.

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Send comments to Fitzcarraldo (BETA) | Report this review (#18146) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, August 28, 2004

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars For those of you who love early MARILLION, ARENA, PALLAS, GENESIS, IQ or PENDRAGON, you may like this debut album from MAGENTA. If it does not blow you at first spin, try another spin. I hope it may grow. It happened to me. The first time I listened to this album, it did not struck me at all. I don't know why. I did spin the CD three times last year and then I put it back to my CD shelf. My best friend then loaned me the second album of the band "Seven" couple months ago. For some reason I could accept the music instantaneously. I started appreciating the band and I took the first album again. I played the CD and . wow!!! What a great music! To my surprise, I like this album more than the second one. It's funny, isn't it? I can only taste Magenta music after I listen to their second album and I like first album more than the second.

The album comprises 4 epic tracks, ie. "Children of the Sun", "The White Witch", "Man The Machine" and "Genetesis". Each epic comprises some chapters / tracks. It's something like The Flower Kings "Flower Power" album. Each epic shares similar musical rhythm and style with the other. Musically, each of them is well positioned in such a way that we, the listeners, would experience ultimate experience when enjoying the album in its entirety. For me, this album is well enjoyed in its entirety; even better if you do it in the evening with relatively loud volume in your power amps. I would not recommend you to enjoy this album partially, otherwise you won't enjoy the beauty of high and low tones or variety of tasty melodies. Bear with me on this ..

Disc One - CHILDREN OF THE SUN

It's the first epic that comprises track 1 - 5. Track 1 "Spirit Of The Land" opened with an acapela vocal line led by female singer Christina supported by male vocals. It's an energetic opening. When the music enters its body, it has a strong nuances of neo progressive rock music especially on the way keyboard, piano and guitar are played. It's a perfect combination of melodies among all instruments (with the basic piano sound at the back) and excellent vocal line. It continues seamlessly to second track "The Journey" with smooth transition. The music has not changed dramatically; even it has a similar structure and rhythm. The only thing different is the keyboard is more dominant. One interesting thing to observe is the bass guitar playing style is similar to YES' Chris Squire but it just a little bit softer (it's unlike the bass line of dazzling "Tempus Fugit" or "The Gates of Delirium" for example). The music then moves in a higher tone to track 3 "The Battle" with great organ sound and flute-like sound. It is then followed by soft lead guitar. The combination of piano, guitar and keyboard sounds are packaged into a nice melody. What a wonderful track!! It continues to next track "Thanksgiving" with a simple piano sound and high tone vocal accentuated by acoustic guitar. Christina voice is clear and powerful. This epic is concluded with an acoustic guitar fills "Opus". This represents the culmination of satisfaction level with respect to perfect harmony the band has created through this first epic. Excellent!

Disc One - THE WHITE WITCH

The second epic is the one that really blew me. I'm hooked to this album is mostly due to this second epic. It has a great touchy melody and powerful vocal line with a great musical composition. This happens especially at track 7 "The White Witch". It opens with a soft solo keys and organ. Honestly, this short opening melody really blow my mind and speeding up the flow of my adrenaline; it is "so touchy" (it reminds me to old PROCOL HARUM organ style, or even SINKADUS / ANGLAGARD organ style). My satisfaction does not stop here because as the vocal line of Christina enters the scene . uuugghh . I almost cry listening to the beauty of her POWERFUL voice and the touchy melody!!! " . give me your strength ." This opening vocal line really blow me! Oh my God . one of your creatures has created wonderful music like this!! The music flows smoothly with stunning guitar and in some transition the band uses soft piano. This track is really wonderfully crafted. It continues seamlessly with organ sound and guitar to next track "The Plague". The music is maintained at the same tempo. The vocal line is opened with male poet reading style (similar style with Marillion's Misplaced Childhood). I like the transition piece when a sort of xylophone sound is used before keyboard solo. Christina's voice enters the scene altogether with other male vocals at later part of this track. "Reflection" is opened with an acoustic guitar fills backed with keyboard sound. It reminds me to GENESIS's "Entangled" of "A Trick of the Tail" album. It's a mellow track with female voice starts with "Now is the time to make a new start ."; the music flows smoothly with acoustic guitar, keys and soft lead guitar. Nice combination of keys and lead guitar at the end of the track. The music suddenly moves to higher tempo with a solo organ at the opening of last track "The Spell". Great multi voices, stunning guitar and piano. "Take my hand, I need you .." Followed by stunning lead guitar work that concludes the epic.

Disc Two - MAN THE MACHINE

The opening part of "Man and Machine" reminds me to GENESIS's "A Trick of the Tail". "War" is relatively upbeat tempo track performed in a ballad style with some keyboard and guitar melodies. It has a nice interlude exploring keyboard sound effects. It's noticeable that the rhythm in interlude is similar to GENESIS "Supper's Ready" especially in the parts just before Gabriel sings "Six six six .."(you know what I mean). It flows to "Rememberance" with a fading keyboard sound and appearing piano and female vocal. It's a cool intro and, again, tasty melody. I also like the uplifting lyrics "Our future is in our own hands" .. what a motivating lyrics! The tempo is then moving higher to "The Watchers" with great piano play accompanying female vocal; and also excellent keyboard sound that reminds me to MARILLION's "Garden Party". The track is very uplifting and as most of other tracks, there is a piano shot during low point of vocal line and Hackettian guitar at the back. The music goes back to GENESIS "Foxtrot" style during the intro of "Lightspeed" for a while and continued with lead guitar and energetic voice. The interesting part of this track is the inclusion of vibraphone sound combined with lead guitar. The track ends up with a spacey sound and continued by solo keyboard welcoming "First Contact". It has relatively long lead guitar solo in the interlude; reminds me to Mike OLDFIELD's guitar work. This epic is concluded with "Opus 2" - an acoustic guitar work; classical music influence. Cool.

Disc Two: GENETESIS

"The New Age" - It opens with a simple piano followed by high voice vocal line in a mellow tempo, great melody. It has an excellent interlude with lead guitar. It goes back to vocal, concluded with very short but nice keyboard touch. It continues seamlessly to "Renewed Purpose" in a keyboard based music and acoustic guitar rhythm. I observe the organ work at the background is like 70's sound. "A New Life" has a very touchy and memorable acoustic guitar melody combined with melotron (background) and piano touch. Ghushzzz . this is a brilliant piece! When music enters slowly, the vocal line starts with "Manknind walking through the fire . " followed by dazzling keyboard solo accompanied later with lead guitar. It's really a top notch composition!! The music suddenly jumps to an upbeat tempo as it enters the intro of "The Search For Faith". It slows down when vocal line enters the scene; it goes back to upbeat demonstrating great lead guitar work. The interlude is excellent especially in drumming style and solo keyboard. It surprises me that the rhythm music accompanying this interlude is similar to YES' "Heart of Sunrise". It's a wonderful and energetic interlude - with dazzling keyboard, bass line and drumming. It ends up with excellent piano touch and flows seamlessly to a short track "The Creed" with rocking guitar sound appeared very thinly at the background - but it's nice and can be heard clearly. It's an excellent mixing because if the guitar work is louder; it might not create an excellent nuances. The concluding track "The Warning" starts with Hackettian guitar play followed by heavy voice of male vocal - and later combined with female voice. The tempo changes slowly with a solo piano work (reminds me to GENESIS' "Carpet Crawlers") followed by female vocal. Again, a guitar work is played excellently after the vocal line. For those of you who like lead guitar solo accompanied with medium tempo music, this track suits you. It's a stunning guitar. I really enjoy listening to the end part of this track. It ends nicely with an acoustic guitar play ...

Sorry for long review because this album deserves detailed review. Overall, I cannot compromise to give less than 5/5 rating for composition, musicianship, production, songwriting and overall performance. And I am not too naïve about this. Rob Reed, Christina and friends, thanks for producing this wonderfully crafted album! I just need to have your EP "Broken" someday; it's too expensive for me to have this EP. - GW, Indonesia.

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Send comments to Gatot (BETA) | Report this review (#18147) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, September 06, 2004

Review by richardh
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Magenta are a relatively new band that first came to my attention when I was them at the Progeny festival last year.One girl backed by 6 guys playing as tight as you can.Very impressed I was with them.I immediately got their album' Seven' which had the same high standards of the live performance and then later purchased Revolutions.On first listen I wasn't sure about it as it seemed to have slightly clumsy lyrics and was maybe a lttle too sprawling (as 2 CD sets can be).However after about 3 or 4 listens I can say this is one of my favourite 2CD sets.It's wonderfully ambitious music in a syphonic prog vein featuring the lovely voice of Christina Murphy.Some will argue that it just rips off Yes and Genesis but then that is a tired and oft used argument that has been levelled at many 'neo-prog' bands.For me it is an excellent addition to my prog collection that will get many future plays.

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Posted Friday, September 10, 2004

Review by maani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Founding Moderator
2 stars Oy! I must say that I envy Gatot (see his review below); I very much wish I had heard what he heard, and felt the same way he did. However, like my colleagues Bryan and Fitzcarraldo, I must also defer to James Lee's extremely on-target review of this album. [N.B. to visitors and newbies to the site: It should definitely "say something" to you that three "official" reviewers all defer to the same review.] However, I do want to make a few comments of my own.

What we have here is some diligent "students of prog" attempting to "filter" their obvious influences (primarily Yes, Genesis and Renaissance). And although they are far more successful than, say, Starcastle (...), they make little attempt to create anything all that new. They stay safely within estabished "prog parameters" and are obviously trying VERY hard. Indeed, one really WANTS to like them. Unfortunately, although there is some legitimate creativity here, there is little that is "new," much less inspiring.

The first suite - Children of the Sun - is the "brightest," with a "happier" feeling than the others. It is also more "cohesive" (if not necessarily as "creative") than the other three. And yet...how can any band play and sing for 19 minutes and say so little? It's not that there is anything "wrong" with it, and it is certainly pleasant to listen to. But it's like Chinese food: an hour after you eat, you're hungry again. [Note: no insult meant to our Chinese friends here...]

The first "interlude" - Opus 1 - is "hopelessly Howe," but actually not that bad.

The second suite - The White Witch - has a few notable "unfiltered" moments. Near the end of the song "The White Witch" there is a heavy instrumental section that sounds suspiciously like something from Genesis' "Duke" album. The end of "The Plague" is in similar manner extremely "Yes"-like. "The Spell" is even MORE Yes-like. (Indeed, one can only imagine what Yes could have done with this!)

The third suite - Man and Machine - is the most maddening of the four, because it could have been the most cohesive and interesting. It also has a couple of "unfiltered" moments. As others have pointed out, the song "Man and Machine" opens with an arrangement that is lifted piecemeal from the title track of Genesis' "Trick of the Tail." And "War" has an instrumental section very reminiscent of "Apocalypse in 9/8" from Genesis' "Supper's Ready" suite.

The second interlude - Opus 2 - is also "hopelessly Howe," but is also not that bad.

The fourth and final suite - Genetesis - is a jerry-rigged collection of Yes bits (with a little bit of Genesis thrown in for good measure). The opening theme of "The New Age" is an only slightly modified version of the opening theme of "Visions of Angels" on Genesis' "Trespass." And the remainder of the piece - from 2:38 to the end - reminds me strongly of something from Yes' "Tormato," with another hopelessly "Howe"-like guitar and very Yes-like vocal harmonies. "Renewed Purpose" has a series of Wakeman-like keyboard solos, as well as Yes-like vocal harmonies at 3:45-4:00 and 4:15-4:40. "A New Life" has a section (2:10-2:47) that sounds like it was lifted almost directly from Yes' "Parallels," as well as yet more Yes-like vocal harmonies. Finally, "The Creed" is extremely reminiscent of something else from "Tormato" (or perhaps "Going for the One"). This suite might have been called "Gen(et)esis," or even "Gene(Yes)is."

I agree completely with James Lee that the final composition on the album - The Warning - is a Genesis-like composition that sounds unfinished: as if they had to record the piece before they had written the last few minutes, and simply included an over- long fade-out.

I also agree with James Lee that: "the musicians are...skilled players and the performances are tight and beautifully recorded"; that "there is a dedication to the sound of classic prog and an accessible quality"; that "Ms. Murphy has respectable control and range...her clear and assured delivery suits the slick sound nicely"; and that she "provides the band's main hook" - that "with a male lead singer this band would be significantly less interesting."

There is admittedly a great deal to digest here, and perhaps these four compositions should be listened to one at a time and digested individually before listening to the others. Although this would not make this album any less derivative or lacking in inspiration, it might make it easier to appreciate it for what it is: somewhere between the completely unfiltered, "influence-on-the-sleeve" approach of a group like Starcastle, and the (mostly) perfectly filtered approach of a group like Marillion.

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Send comments to maani (BETA) | Report this review (#18135) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, September 17, 2004

Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
2 stars I think I have heard only the first Cd in its entirity and bits of the second but it is also enough to pin-point this as over-rated neo-prog. I was unaware until today of the date of release of this double CD. Actually it is a thread on the forum that drove to write what I remember hearing few months ago. Unaware of the date of release because I had thought of this as some clone to Mostly Autumn (not a great fan either) but this is anterior to M A . So if anything , the singing of M A would be based on Magenta's. This is typically your average neo-prog outing but I must say that there are some relatively catchy hooks to some moments i.e. the first movement of the White Witch. It was enough to get me interested and even get exited to it even though all of the sonorities were so typically neo. Until the third or fourth movement of that long number (20 min+) than I suddendly fell of my chair: no. No. No! NO ! NOOOAAHHHHHHHHRGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They did it !!!!!!!!! The arpeggios are a rip-off from Entangled from ATOTT by you-know-who.

HOLD IT (imagine I just sized up to police character height to 78) , THAT'S IT , it's done with me , I don't want to have anything to do with the rest of this ......... toooooo bad though good start . Oh well ! ........... it's getting late . I must be going ......... Hoooooooooooooome sweet home Where did I put that album again , you know the one where there is a nurse and a judge and a thief ........ Ah there it is .........quick !!!!!!!!! mmmmmmh.......... Good night!

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Posted Monday, September 27, 2004

Review by erik neuteboom
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars When I got this 2-CD as a promo I was amazed by the cover-art: a beautiful, sexy dressed lady, could this be prog? Well, after listening my conclusion was that Magenta plays 24- carat prog! The female voice reminds me of Annie Haslam from Renaissance, very pure. All the compositions on this 2-CD are an obvious tribute to the known progrock legends, especially Yes, Genesis and Marillion. You will soon discover that many guitar and keyboard parts are derived from Steve Howe, Steve Rothery, Tony Banks and Rick Wakeman (bits from "Heart of the sunrise", "Incubus", "Supper's ready", "Parallels" and "Awaken")! Nonetheless, if you don't have a problem with cloning this is a wonderful and very alternating 2-CD, the music ranges from classical guitar pieces (in the vein of Julian Bream and John Williams) to bombastic prog featuring sensational keyboard play (church organ, sparkling piano, Moog runs) and strong electric guitar soli (Oldfield/Rothery inspired). VERY ENTERTAINING!!

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Posted Monday, July 04, 2005

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars DERIVATIVE WORK FROM THE SEVENTIES IN THE NEW MILLENIUM

If you could dream of a mix between "Renaissance" and "Genesis", you would get "Magenta".

From "Renaissance", you take the best of the band (IMO, "Sheherazade") and you add abit more electric guitar to the recipe. You don't change anything to the wonderful voice from Christina Murphy. She sounds amazingly to Annie Haslam as most reviewers have described. Since it is purely the truth, there is nothing else to add.

Although some instrumental parts features piano and almost classical music (as "Renaissance", I told you) there are lots of "Genesis" filiation as well. I have to admit that I like this combination very much.

The four epics that sits on this double album are by no means boring. Can you believe, almost ninety minutes for four songs ? Way beyond "Tales" ! So, if you are not into this type of "regressive" style, you'd better forget this work. If, like me, you are always pleased to listen to some brilliant instrumental sections (more symphonic than neo-prog actually) combined with a beautiful, soft female vocals, than this album is for you.

Some Mike Oldfield influence as well can be noticed (during "The Plague" from the second epic "The White Witch"). I guess that some might call this type of work as "pretentious" like "Tales". But since I have never had any problem with this very good "Yes" double album, the same reflects here.

Only very catchy and very melodic music, with here and there some brilliant guitar breaks ("Reflection"). The whole work flows really nicely. And yes, there are some similarity between the intro of "Reflection" and "Entangled but not really anything to make a big fuss about.

This first CD is really good. Let's listened to the second one.

It starts with some "borrowed" notes from "A Trick Of The Tail" (the track) for several seconds. But the "Genesis inspiration" will continue during "War", the second movement from "Man The Machine". This time, it is the turn of "Supper's Ready" (the great "Apocalypse" part) to be promoted. And it is impossible not to notice it. Some beautiful and Floydian guitar will fill your heart with joy I guess (at least it did it for me).

If you would like to have some "Marillion" flavour, don't worry : you'll get them in the initial part of "The Watch". Just listen carefully to the background synthesizers. Yes, it is a carbon copy of "The Garden Party" ! It is maybe a bit too much by now...Because "Supper's Ready" is back in the opening of "Lightspeed" (but not for long, I admit). Later on, some "Watcher" notes are also easily recognizable.

This song is a kaleidoscope of the "Genesis" repertoire. I don't have problem when a band sounds as "Genesis" (on the contrary) but it is a bit exaggerated in here. Maybe a tribute ? I don't know.

And there is still one epic to go. Guess the title..."Gene (te) sis" ! What a promising one! But before this, there is a gentle acoustic guitar break. No, it does not sound as "Horizons". Just to "Mood For A Day". What a change !

The band will remain in "Yes" territories with the first part of "Genetesis". Do you fancy some "Revealing Science Of God" moments ? OK. Here you go...This aspect will be increased with the backing vocals sounding closely to Jon's ones. "A New Life" also borrows parts of this good YesSong. I would have hoped for more "Genesis" with such a title. Maybe they should have called it "YesTesis".

If you want to know how a combination between "Mostly Autumn" and "Watcher" sounds like, just listen to "The Search Of Faith" and you'll get it. You can also add "Heart Of The Sunrise" just before minute three (easily identifyable as well).

I had fun to distinguish as many songs as I could with this work. I probably have missed some. Anyway, I will rate this album with three stars. It lacks too much of personality to deserve four. But it is a nice voyage in the repertoire of two of my preferred bands.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#147667) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, October 27, 2007

Review by progaardvark
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars From everything I've read, Rob Reed really wanted to celebrate his influences and purposely used Magenta to create something similar to those classic prog albums of the 1970s. On their debut album, Revolutions, Reed does just that. Influences are everywhere, including early Marillion, Yes (particularly Steve Howe), Genesis, Renaissance, and so on. However, the influences only seem to show themselves in small sections of the music. It seemed Reed may have remembered a good hook here and a good passage here and there from the prog greats, took it, modified it to fit his project and merged the whole thing together with very nicely written melodies, catchy hooks, and the beautiful voice of Christina Booth (somewhat similar in vocal range to Annie Haslam, but unique to my ears). The album of course shows some Cyan influences, Reed's other prog band.

The final product is made up of four 20 or so minute, multi-part tracks and a seven minute finale. So you really need to allot some time to listen to this whole album. I can already see people making comparisons with the hit-and-miss Tales from Topographic Oceans, but Magenta's Revolutions is so beautifully arranged that it's an enjoyable listen from beginning to end. And yes, it is accessible prog and shows very little in complexities. Reed's talent is thoughtful and provocative lyrics and exceptionally catchy melodies and hooks.

I primarily consider Rob Reed's project as a tribute to the greats of the past, and from the many comments I have read, this was Reed's intention for this album. If you can't get past the influences and loosely consider close resemblances as rip-offs, you should probably avoid this album. Otherwise, I think this is a remarkable and touching masterpiece that brings the past into the new century. Easily a five star album and highly recommended to open-minded listeners that understand the reasons this album was made.

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Posted Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Review by tszirmay
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Team
4 stars I can't help laughing incoherently whenever any musical critic/ reviewer in any genre actually has the spunk to claim in Mussoliniesque terms that something is derivative of this.or copying that... Please kindly abandon those spotty clichés that are so ..derivative and so ..imitative. Boring..Every single note sequence has been played one way or another over the ages, with different instruments and various coatings. It's like food , there is a limit of what is edible or in our case acceptable to the ear. Yes, Magenta is unoriginal, imitative, hackneyed etc.call it what you will. But all rock music has been done before, so let's drop the originality pretense, just let it slide and enjoy for what the music is and not what it should be. 2001 proffered this daunting 2CD massive unashamedly Yes inspired epic debut to a rapt audience for whom such adventurism certainly was a voyage of dense behemoths. When you look at the entire prog catalog, there are really not that many 20 minute plus extravaganzas. In fact, they are rather rare but I guess size counts for some naysayers who delight in slandering any musician wishing to extend his musical vision (very reminiscent of the punk journalist crusaders of the late 70s). Disc 1 has "Children of the Sun" is 19.00 minutes and "The White Witch" is 20 minutes plus, Disc 2 contain my favorites "Man the Machine" (nearly 25 minutes) "Genetesis" is close to 22 minutes and "The Warning" slyly clocks in over 7 minutes preparing the next album's more tapered song format! With songs this size, commercialism is a ridiculous accusation so, sit back, relax and let the revolution begin. Many of my PA colleagues have extensively covered the tracks "blow by blow" (no, not the Jeff Beck title!) and they are correct in their praise and occasional criticism. The bottom line is that this had a major impact in progland and left many fans excited about the future. The next one "Seven" will be a crowning achievement of their craft with Christina Booth taking the mike stand boldly. If there is any sour taste here, it's the occasional only vocal prowess of the slender miss, often shrouded by Rob Reed's voice which in all fairness is rather unexciting. Tim Robinson's drum work is way better than usual for this type of music and the playing by the octopus-handed Reed is quite dazzling. As with most "revolutions", there are some obvious pains and aches but by in large this huge work is fully deserving a 4 and a half purple/red stars . Oh, by the way, its derivative!

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Posted Friday, March 21, 2008

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Any colour you like

With Renaissance having long since ceased to exist, and more recently Karnataka having gone a similar way, Magenta and Mostly Autumn are the bands currently carrying the torch for symphonic prog with female lead vocals. While Mostly Autumn openly admit to being strongly influenced by Pink Floyd, Magenta appear to lean more toward Genesis for their inspiration. Whether or not their music is in general terms overtly derivative, is a matter for debate, but with "Revolutions" I certainly found myself reminded of other bands and albums, virtually throughout. To be fair, Magenta are quite open about their influences and inspirations.

Released in 2001, "Revolutions" is the band's debut album. While appearing as a double CD, the running time is actually only about 96 minutes, the album consisting of what in old LP terms would roughly equate to four side long suites.

The band evolved from Rob Reed's Cyan project, with whom Christina Murphy had sung one song. Reed was so impressed, he decided to make a full album with her, choosing the "next colour along" for the band name.

The first of the four suites is the 19 minute "Children of the sun", which consists of 4 sub-sections roughly equal in length. There is a pleasant Renaissance type feel to the orchestration and keyboards filled washes backing melodic female vocals. Christina's vocals do not have the richness of Annie Haslam but she is competent and gifted nonetheless.

After the brief link piece "Opus 1", we approach the 20 minute "The white witch", this time in five parts. Here we have distinctly Banks like synth work and Hackett like guitars, with Fish (Marillion) like spoken word (even with a Scottish accent!). This is a lovely piece from start to finish, but the overt influences can be something of a distraction.

Disc 2 firstly features "Man the Machine", the longest of the suites at almost 25 minutes. This has all the feel of a "Trick of the tail" medley, the early melodies and rhythms of the piece switching between that album's title track and "Squonk". Thereafter, "Los Endos" blends with the "Apocalypse" section of "Supper's ready" and we really are straddling the boundary between influence and parody. The problem here (if there is one) is that the music is actually superb, but those familiar with the influences may find their thoughts drifting in search of the origins.

After a second brief "Opus", the final suite is the (deliberately) tellingly named "Genetesis". The opening piano melody here recalls "The lamb lies down..", the track later breaking into a "Topographic Oceans" like guitar run. Christina delivers the Jon Anderson like vocal lines with some aplomb. The "A new life" section is a straight take on "Awaken", with repetative plink plinks and swirling church organ sounds. From there we move into "Close to the edge" like organ and rhythms in "The search for faith".

The album closes with "The warning", a 7 minute stand alone track which seems rather out of place in the context of the four suites. The dual male/female lead vocals only work up to a point, Rob Reed's vocal contribution being less persuasive (for want of a better word!) than Christina's. Some nice guitar work though.

In all, a highly enjoyable album with strong melodies and fine performances all round. There is no denying that the undiluted nature of the well known influences can be a distraction, but let that not stop us from basking in all that is good about the music.

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Posted Monday, September 01, 2008

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Neo Prog Team
4 stars Rob Reed's talent was already known through his works with his first band CYAN,which leaned towards a Pendragon-like style.However,as Reed himself has admitted,he wanted someday to create a full-blown prog disc comparable to the likes of YES' ''Tales from topographic oceans'' or GENESIS ''The lamb lies down on broadway''.His idea came true with the formation of MAGENTA,a personal project,for which he was helped by Christina Murphy on vocals and various musicians.On their first attempt ''Revolutions'' it is Reed who handles all keys,basses and most of electric and acoustic guitars.The grandiose album consists of four 20-min. epics,reflecting on progressive rock history from its early days till today.

Opening number of the first CD ''Children of the sun'' is,in my opinion, the best track of all.Fully GENESIS-oriented with lots of vintage keys,dramatic interplays,fantastic guitar work and an atmosphere travelling the listener to prog rock's early glorious days.This is definitely a masterpiece,which I can't stop listening.After a short break with classic guitars,borrowing a theme from the previous epic,''Opus 1'' comes next.This is another composition influenced by the 70's,where GENESIS meets RENNAISANCE meets YES.Delicate Hammond organ,moog synth acrobatics,nice guitar breaks but also mellow vocal-led crystalline moments create a track based somewhere in mid-70's UK.Excellent.

Second CD starts with ''Man made machine'',where Reed's past with CYAN is more than obvious.The track is based mainly on catchy energetic grooves,inspired emotional solos and lots of digital keys recalling MARILLION's Mark Kelly and also some tambourine parts reminding of MIKE OLDFIELD's works,but parts of it are also influenced by mid-90's SPOCKS BEARD with alternating climates and distorted muti-vocal parts.Not a highlight but a pleasant track nevertheless.Another short classic guitar-based intro leads the listener to the closer ''Genetesis''.The revival has been completed.Not leaving the GENESIS-influence behind,''Genetesis'' blends the modern and vintage approach of SPOCK'S BEARD and THE FLOWER KINGS,presenting constantly changing moods and tempos mixed with the ethereal Annie Haslam-like voice of Murphy,while instrumentally the track is a winner with complicated interplays leaving their place to melodic passages all the time.

Some have called ''Revolutions'' the modern progressive rock masterpiece,others say Reed tried to copy the music of the 70's prog giants,offering nothing new...I will say that ''Revolutions'' is certainly a succesful attempt and tribute to progressive rock music with tons of enjoyable moments,which I cannot rate higher or lower than 4 stars.What does this mean?Some fantastic music in here,which lacks originality...but if you are a fan of glorious 70's prog rock (and I think 95% of the people who read this review are),then ''Revolutions'' is your thing!

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Posted Sunday, February 14, 2010

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Rob Reed the former leader of CYAN created this new band called MAGENTA with Christina Murphy who actually sang backup vocals on one of CYAN's albums. Andy Edwards (IQ) guests on guitar on one track and he too played on one of CYAN's records. This is MAGENTA's debut recording and it's an ambitious double album. "The main theme behind this project is "Faith'. Whether it is faith in someone or something, it is about the fact that people's survival and developement depends on belief." There are four main tracks divided into sections although you wouldn't know it as these sections all blend together. My biggest complaint is probably the length of this record, there are so many songs that for me are average at best, so it makes for a long listen.

Lots to like though. The exception for me is the first track that is my least favourite.Talk about getting off on the wrong foot.That opening male / female vocal melody is cringe-worthy for me. Orchestral moments too that I dislike. In contrast "The White Witch" is my favourite with Andy Edwards guesting on guitar. This just sounds like what would become classic MAGENTA. Christina is the focus although the instrumental work is powerful at times. I like the keyboards too 2 1/2 minutes in. "War" also appeals to me with that heavy beat with guitar soloing over top. Synths then vocals as the beat continues. "Renewed Purpose" is great too with that pulsating organ although it loses it's lustre (much like the album) later on.

A pretty good start but barely 3 stars in my estimation.

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Posted Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Review by progrules
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars If I compare this debut by Magenta with the other two albums I know so far (Seven and Metamorphosis) this Revolutions is much closer to the latter output. And then I'm mainly talking about the level of energy that's coming off both albums. Seven was more decent and flat than energetic in my opinion and Metamorphosis and Revolutions are much firmer.

The opening multi-layered Children of the Sun is already a good example of that. Reed is setting the tone with this very good composition but I wouldn't call it the highlight of the album. Second epic in several parts The White Witch is at least is good as first and yet also this one isn't top of the bill to me. Both epics are quality-wise just about as good as the two epics on Metamorphosis but big difference with the two albums is that this debut has an entire second disc that is even better (imo) than disc one.

The level of second disc is of equal high level as first that is until we get to the final track which appears to be my outstanding favorite. This track called The Warning is simply amazing with stunning guitar by Reed and it's probably the best song he ever composed, better even than the magnificent Lemminkainen's Lament from the Kalevela project.

All a matter of taste and opinion in the end of course but all things considered this first album by Magenta could very well be their best. It has some competition from Metamorphosis but is more shining and has more brilliant moments which are lacking on Metamorphosis being more like solid overall. Hard to rate in the end but I feel the score is around 4,5 stars so I wouldn't go as far as Gatot and Ivan with my rating and will round down in the end. But it's a near masterpiece for sure and highly recommended for all neo progressive fans and indispensable for fans of Magenta and Rob Reed in particular.

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Posted Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Review by lazland
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A suite in four movements, this is the debut album by impressive neo prog outfit, Magenta. You could not possibly accuse them of not being ambitious, because there are not many bands who would announce their intent to the world with such a sprawling conceptual piece such as this.

It is a double CD, and there are so many influences at play here, it is sometimes difficult to keep up. The bombastic start to Children Of The Sun is somewhat misleading, because the track actually soon settles down into something more akin to folk prog than symphonic bombast, and you will hear clear references and nods to bands such as Renaissance and works by Oldfield contained here.

The highlight, though, is the second epic on side one, White Witch. This is simply incredible, and huge credit has to be given to Christina Murphy's vocals on this - she acts and plays the part as if she were born to it. I also loved the woodwind pieces on this epic, featuring some sublime flute and oboe.

If they had left it at CD1, I would have awarded it a healthy 4.5 to 5 stars, so good it is. However, I am afraid that, to these ears, the momentum is lost somewhat on CD2. It's not bad, far from it, but I found the two epics dealing with the future, Man The Machine and Genetesis, to be far less interesting stories than the two which preceded them on CD1 Certainly, the former contains very derivative passages which at one stage could almost be John Foxx or Tubeway Army, and there is also a long passage which is, to be honest, a direct rip off of an album by a certain band with a foxes head on the cover. The last epic, by the way, is more reminiscent of Yes than the obvious band from the name of the track, and it does at least redeem matters somewhat after the incoherent first epic.

Throughout, though, the musicianship is superlative, especially the guitar work by Reed, Fry, Shellard, and Edwards.

A new decade, and a new name in neo prog. All in all, a very satisfying debut from a band who deserve our respect and attention.

For CD1, five stars. For CD2, three stars, so four overall. An excellent addition to any prog collection, and a must for those who enjoy the early and mid neo of Marillion, IQ, Pendragon, and Pallas, and see how a new force would take it forward.

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Posted Sunday, November 07, 2010

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
3 stars Impressive, but hardly revolutionary

After having worked with Cyan on and off since the mid 80's, Rob Reed formed Magenta (like Cyan, also named after a colour) at the end of the 20th century. The lead vocalist of Magenta, Christina Murphy (aka Christina Booth), had already provided backing vocals to some of Cyan's recordings so Reed and her were not strangers to each other. The first thing they offered us under the Magenta moniker was this double album featuring no less than four epic, multi-part compositions and a running time of nearly 100 minutes (which means that it would have been triple album if released back in the days of vinyl). This is quite ambitious and given the extravagant format chosen they pull it off remarkably well.

The first thing to note is that Magenta is a wholly different beast compared to Cyan. Magenta wears their musical influences on their sleeves and the most obvious one here is clearly Yes from around the Fragile and Close To The Edge period, but also Renaissance and a bit of 70's Genesis can easily be detected. This is thus a lot more Retro-Prog than it is Neo- Prog, celebrating the classic Symphonic Prog from the 70's. There are some occasional orchestral sounds that disturb me and bring an overly bombastic feel to some parts, but the melodies are all gorgeous and memorable and there is absolutely no denying the immense talents of everyone involved. This is indeed a highly professional and well-made work.

The cover art fits very well with the music found on these two discs; it is bright like the sun, elegant like Christina's dress and light like the colour magenta. The problem for me is that it is a bit too bright, too elegant and too magenta. This is somehow a little bit too sweet and nice and pleasant (a problem I have with the music of Renaissance also) and I miss some of the grit and power usually associated with Rock music. For example, while singing about such a violent and grim event as a battle, one could expect the accompanying music to be a bit darker and more aggressive. It is not that they are not passionate about what they sing and play, but the resulting sound somehow lacks a tiny bit of substance. One can hardly dismiss the music of Magenta as Pop music, but it does have a bit of a glossy surface that makes it hard for me to fully appreciate what I from some kind of "objective" perspective clearly recognize as well produced music. I am looking forward to hearing some of the material from this album performed live (I am waiting for a live DVD from the band to arrive in my mailbox), my hope is that it will have a bit more Rock power and be a bit less orchestral and sleek.

Another problem I have with parts of this album is that some of the lyrics are hard for me to bear. Especially in Man The Machine where they sing about "mobile phones" and "laptops" (sic!) - this is just too silly and embarrassing for my ears! I do like the lyrics on some other parts of this album, though. The overall concept of the album is that of revolutionary events in the history of mankind. The best part for me is the first epic Children Of The Sun and the subsequent acoustic link-piece Opus I that repeats the melody from Children Of The Sun to great effect. This very nice acoustic piece is heavily Steve Howe-like.

I can readily admit that it is hard not to be charmed by these melodies and I was indeed somewhat tempted to award this a higher rating. However, it is equally hard for me to ignore the aspects of it that I personally don't like so much as well as the obvious influences. Taken for what it is, Revolutions is a highly impressive piece of work and I can understand why someone would consider it a masterpiece. While I have the greatest respect for Rob Reed, this music does come across a little bit like a watered-down and overly polished version of the classic Symphonic Prog bands of the 70's.

Enjoyable and impressive, but with some minor off-putting aspects

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Posted Thursday, March 17, 2011

Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Cyan mastermind Rob Reed and regular collaborator Christina Murphy join forces to co-front Magenta which considering its colour-based name and neo-prog stylings has a very credible argument for being the successor band to Cyan. This time around, the musical style has a heavy injection of Yes - right down to Reed attempting an approximation of Chris Squire's distinctive bass style - and it's a reasonably entertaining listen which has a few niggling issues (for instance, Rob Reed is still making his own vocal contributions, something he really needs to either get better at or stop including on the final cuts of his albums). Still, if you like Yes and don't mind a fairly unoriginal musical approach which doesn't really take many risks or open many doors it's an OK listen.

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Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars It's always great when you get a debut album from a band that already has so many of their defining characteristics and sound in place! For those unsure of the band, Magenta combine an adult/contemporary pop/rock sound balanced with vintage 70's progressive influences and modern Neo Prog arrangements to create a lush and sophisticated sound. The band at this stage was built around masterful writer/arranger Rob Reed, also a top notch musician, and their main drawcard, the lovely Christina Booth, who's delicate and commanding vocals float between reflective, wistful and confident. The wavering and soulful tone of her distinctive voice places her so far ahead of the numerous other female prog vocalists. Chris Fry would also eventually become a fully integrated member of the band from here on.

I love the sheer guts and determination it shows when a band releases a double concept album as a debut, and then fills it with four epic pieces (running from 19-25 minutes each) with only a couple of shorter interludes to break it up! Although formatted like Yes' `Tales From Topographic Oceans' with 4 vinyl side-long pieces, which was a demanding and complex listen that required endless plays to appreciate, `Revolutions' is instantly catchy, accessible and highly melodic, while still retaining an ambitious symphonic and classical grandness.

Listening to the album I'm occasionally reminded of albums like `Scheherazade' by Renaissance with the orchestral grandeur and occasional folk leanings, while the keyboards have an upbeat snap like early Pendragon. There's some early 70's Genesis-like pomp and majesty, but Christina's (and Rob's occasional) vocals keep everything very grounded and relatable. Rob and Chris share guitar duties, ranging from placid acoustic beauty to epic and soaring soloing tastefully implemented with commendable restraint at only the most appropriate times. Rob's thick bass punches through perfectly throughout, while Tim Robinson displays endless variety of subtlety and bombast with his drumming. There's beautifully timed and masterfully executed reprises during the long pieces, which never get repetitive or feel overstretched. I especially love many of the shimmering piano solo spots too.

Lyrically `Revolutions' takes many influences from medieval history, poetry, Christian beliefs, old literature and sci-fi, with the main four unrelated pieces on the album brought together with the reprising theme of `Faith'. `Children Of The Sun' deals with placing belief and hope in the natural elements to provide for our every need. `The White Witch' is a gothic fairytale of a woman feared as a witch for having faith in things that others don't understand. `Man and Machine' deals with the consequences of putting too much faith into man-made objects/modern technology at the risk of the soul, while `Genetesis' is a dark science fiction/horror tale of `revolutionizing' faith through genetic tampering, the evolution of a perfect God created purely by man, and replacing true Divine Beings in the process of evolution. Heavy stuff in parts, but endlessly fascinating and thought- provoking. It's certainly one of Magenta's more lyrically heavy-going albums!

One thing I found a little disappointing inside the CD booklet is a comment from Magenta mainman Rob Reed:

"Imitation is the highest form of flattery. This album is the product of a life of influence by my favourite bands. It is an attempt to recreate the magical flavours which they refuse to serve to us today. Any similarities or coincidences with any band past or present is entirely intentional!"

I believe Rob sells himself short with this comment, because from this I was expecting a mere tired retread of every Genesis, Renaissance, Yes/Rick Wakeman, etc album. But what he and the band have done on `Revolutions' is combine little elements of these artists into their own modern and distinctive style seamlessly. This is no clich'd rehash of past bands, it simply takes the best elements of those greats and incorporates them in an original and memorable way. You'll find occasional moments that make you instantly think of those above mentioned bands, but never at the expense of Magenta's own identity and style.

I also believe a band like Magenta could quite easily tap into a stronger female fanbase, as their lyrics are often romantic, full of longing and relatable everyday emotions with a heartfelt and confident female front-woman. There's rarely any over-reliance on bloated soloing, instead going for quiet emotional subtlety and well-executed complexity. More streamlined and straight-forward albums like their later `Chameleon', `The Singles' and some of the more simpler tracks from their album `Seven' like `Envy' and `Anger' also highlight their accessible potential.

Magenta would eventually move away from many of the more overt 70's influences in their early work as they refined and properly progressed their sound, so it makes `Revolutions' even more special and unique in their back catalogue. Fans of modern symphonic bands with female singers like Glass Hammer, Par Lindh Project and Cirrus Bay would be wise to check out this sumptuous and masterful blend of the old with the new, from a special band that continues to be the leaders of the female fronted progressive bands and the masters of adult rock and modern symphonic/Neo prog.

An easy four stars!

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Posted Thursday, March 07, 2013

Latest members reviews

1 stars Discovered Magenta whilst browsing Youtube. Listened to the clip of them performing Wonderous Stories by Yes. Was well impressed with that so thought I'd dip into some of their back catalogue. Read some of the reviews of Revolutions and thought that would be a good place to start. I've listene ... (read more)

Report this review (#752369) | Posted by Craigyboy | Saturday, May 12, 2012 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I am not a musician, nor am I an expert on the variations of prog. Instead, I am a devoted listener to many prog bands, which I appreciate in many ways. I don't know the technical nuances of the songs. But, I know what I like and this fits right in there with older Genesis, Nektar, Camel, a ... (read more)

Report this review (#707712) | Posted by rnelson | Tuesday, April 03, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Once I get pass the buttock-clenching awfulness of the vocals that begins this album (never, fellow 'Prog' fans, play this to anyone sceptical about the value of the genre,,,,it will only confirm their suspicions) and once I overcome my annoyance at the lead vocalist's frequent adoption of a ... (read more)

Report this review (#621875) | Posted by Kiwi1 | Saturday, January 28, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Magenta is an original group, that is classified as Neo-Prog, but which could be in my sense symphonic-prog. Their originality lies in the fact that there is a female lead-singer, Christina Booth, and a keyboard-oriented music, namely with composer Rob Reed, a fabulous instrumentist. Their debu ... (read more)

Report this review (#277196) | Posted by Progdaybay | Saturday, April 10, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Yes this album is derivative (they say so right in the liner notes, after all.........and despite what some other reviewers may claim, there is no outright plagiarism here), yes Rob Reed shouldn't try to sing. But aside from these two issues, this is quite enjoyable to listen to. If you expect ... (read more)

Report this review (#160244) | Posted by infandous | Wednesday, January 30, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Magenta are playing live in London this evening (10/11/07) and I really wanted to go, however, having seen Porcupine Tree yesterday evening and not feeling particularly well today, will have to give it a miss.To cheer myself up I put on Revolutions, a cd I only picked up 2 months ago, having hea ... (read more)

Report this review (#149942) | Posted by Marky | Saturday, November 10, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Barely legal! i was surprised and amazed to find continuous parts letterally copied, not inspired, to Genesis and Yes, with solos taken by Howe and Hackett and the bass played Squire-like. They admit all this in a note in the booklet but... why spend money for a cover-band? If you want to appr ... (read more)

Report this review (#145291) | Posted by babbus61 | Wednesday, October 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars 20 minute epics and a full arsenal of keyboards do not always a Prog band make. This is a prime example. Multi part songs ranging from 19 to 25 minutes. Every keyboard from the classics of the past to the digital of the future. Fantasy/Sci-Fi lyrics to thrill the most discriminating Prog nerd. ... (read more)

Report this review (#71395) | Posted by zx2781 | Wednesday, March 08, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars At first, Magenta seems to be a "popish prog", specially if you start by "Seven", which really made me think I was listening to a progressive Corrs... But after a while, I got to realise what this band was all about and only later could I listen to "Revolutions". In fact, they are both awesome ... (read more)

Report this review (#67159) | Posted by augustomen | Saturday, January 28, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars At first I thought I was about to listen to some Renaissance album from the Scherezade and other Stories period, but no, wait, as the music, or better said, the melodic passages flooded my ears, the concept and the emotions beign transmitted went in crescendo with taste and originality. This is ... (read more)

Report this review (#18141) | Posted by | Sunday, February 08, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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