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Purson Desire's Magic Theatre album cover
3.79 | 86 ratings | 2 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2016

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Desire's Magic Theatre (6:12)
2. Electric Landlady (3:53)
3. Dead Dodo Down (3:10)
4. Pedigree Chums (3:58)
5. The Sky parade (5:17)
6. The Window Cleaner (3:28)
7. the Way It Is (2:42)
8. Mr. Howard (4:08)
9. I Know (4:21)
10. The Bitter Suite (7:11)

Total Time 44:20

Bonus Tracks on 2016 CD:
11. Unsure Overture (4:51)
12. I Know (Acoustic) (3:45)
13. The Sky Parade (Acoustic) (4:45)

Total time 57:43

Line-up / Musicians

- Rosalie Cunningham / vocals, electric & acoustic guitars, bass, keyboards, percussion, composer, arranger & producer
- Jon Seagroatt / sax, flute
- Anna Scott / cello
- Raphael Mura / drums

- George Hudson / guitar (2,7,8,11), vocals & composer (11)
- Kat Harcup / cello (12,13)
- Justin Smith / bass (4,7)

Releases information

Artwork: Sam Robinson

CD Spinefarm Records ‎- 2547714367 (2016, Europe) With 3 bonus tracks

LP Spinefarm Records ‎- 0602547711557 (2016, Europe)

Thanks to Evolver for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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PURSON Desire's Magic Theatre ratings distribution

(86 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (34%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

PURSON Desire's Magic Theatre reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars Purson of interest!

While I often enjoy retro-prog albums, I rarely find myself as enthralled as I have been with this album. I just can't seem to bring myself to remove this disc from my CD player.

Emulating styles and sounds of the late sixties and early seventies, Rosalie Cunningham and her crew have crafted an album that purferctly captures the spirit of those times, evoking many classics artists without coming across as imitative. I purceive the cabaret jauntiness of The Doors, the ominous blues of The Animals, a bit of Jimi Hendrix, production that evokes The Beatles, and nods to plenty of other classic art rock and prog acts.

The album begins with a train arriving, and Purson launching into the title track, "Desire's Magic Theatre", a hard rocking piece powered by a strong fuzz bass, that smoothly transitions into a light symphonic break, before returning to the meat of the song, and finally a jazzy outro. Phew!

If that doesn't get you fired up, the next track, the Hendrix inspired "Electric Landlady" (get it?) follows, with appropriate soaring guitars, and very clever lyrics.

And there is no letdown throughout the set. Tracks begin with a nod to one style, and proceed to travel through many other musical landscapes. Cunningham's compositions deftly draw the band through these aural wonderlands seamlessly, making every track a joy.

Cunningham herself delivers each song masterfully. Her vocal purformance, sometimes sweet, sometimes seductive, always delivers her lyrics in exactly the manner her music demands. The lyrics, in keeping with the classic motif, generously offer love and dragonflies and other images from that explorative, somewhat innocent time.

While I love every track, I have to give a shout out to the aforementioned "Electric Landlady", "The Sky Parade" with mellotron and a style reminiscent of King Crimson's "Epitaph", and "The Bitter Suite", which begins as a ballad, and runs through many styles, including a Jethro Tull like flute break, and a cool jazz ending.

The mark of a truly great album is that when it is over, the listener is left with a desire to hear more. At the end of this album, when Purson's train pulls away from the station, that feeling is as intense as ever.

I truly hope this band gets the attention they deserve, as I feel that they have the talent and accessibility to transcend the progressive rock world, and make an impact on the popular music scene.

Review by Warthur
4 stars We'd seen strong hints on The Circle and the Blue Door that the retro stylings of Purson included a strong interest in the prog-psych boundary - that intriguing sound that existed in the late 1960s and early 1970s when progressive rock still hadn't quite disentangled itself from the artier end of the psychedelic scene.

On Desire's Magic Theatre, Rosalie Cunningham and her cohorts steer Purson away from the heavier territory of their debut album in order to more deeply explore the different nooks and crannies of that era, whilst delivering an album which applies modern production values and the benefit of some five decades' hindsight to the material. Jazz, Tull- esque flute, disorienting psychedelia and a small epic in the closing Bitter Suite finds Purson going from strength to strength. Due to its exploratory nature, it doesn't quite feel like it's hanging together as well as the debut album did, but the musical evolution on display is appreciable.

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