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MAGENTA

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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Magenta biography
Most of the old progheads miss the 70's when Prog' reached the peak, atmospheric guitars, wonderful keyboard solos and beautiful symphonic arrangements where things from the past until this great band released "Revolutions".

MAGENTA was born in the year 2001 as a one album project, Rob Reed (a talented keyboardist and composer who had worked on several good prog bands like FYREWORKS, CYAN and TRIPPA) decided to join Christina Murphy (Now Christina Booth), an incredible vocalist that has a bit of Stevie Nicks with the brilliance of Annie Haslam plus of course her personal and unique style and release "Revolutions", a double conceptual album about the moments that changed humanity (small revolutions). For that purpose they decided to hire some session musicians for the recordings. But the project was too big for that, and fans started to ask for live concerts, so they change the plans and form a permanent band, with Tim Robinson (Percussion) who with the other members Chris Fry (guitar), Martin Rossen (guitar) and Matthew Cohen (bass) form the almost definitive lineup.

Their debut album "Revolutions" blends the spirit of the 70 Symphonic bands with the perfect production of the XXI Century, is easy to find references of YES, GENESIS and even Mike OLDFIELD, a very ambitious project that satisfied the exigent British critics. They announced their next album "Seven" and the fans kept waiting for almost three years before it was released, After recording "Seven", Tim Robinson left the band so a MAGENTA fan and very competent drummer Alan Mason-Jones joins MAGENTA.

In 2004 when this conceptual album about the Seven Capital Sins is released, less symphonic than the previous but with the energy of Neo Prog bands like PENDRAGON and MARILLION (FISH-era) the long waiting period was worth, MAGENTA shows a more mature sound and for the joy of old progheads the influence of the 70's heroes is still clear. The last change in the lineup comes, Tim Robinson leaves MAGENTA and Alan Mason-Jones, a drummer who was already a MAGENTA fan joins the band in time to release the Single "Broken". This CD presents four other themes including the wonderful Church Organ solo "Opus III" by Rob Reed and the power ballad "Call Me". This short album shows a more mature band that has a clear and unique sound, even when there are some references to classic prog' bands.

MAGENTA is a new alternative for those of us who want to listen a good progressive band that is ...
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MetamorphosisMetamorphosis
Import
Ais 2013
Audio CD$21.98
$17.10 (used)
SevenSeven
Import
2004
Audio CD$18.28
$17.10 (used)
Twenty Seven ClubTwenty Seven Club
Import
Ais 2013
Audio CD$17.13
$19.99 (used)
ChameleonChameleon
Import
Imports 2011
Audio CD$19.69
$12.54 (used)
Songs For The DeadSongs For The Dead
Cleopatra 2015
Audio CD$8.95
$4.00 (used)
MetamorphosisMetamorphosis
Laser's Edge 2008
Audio CD$69.99
$19.99 (used)
The Twenty Seven ClubThe Twenty Seven Club
Import · Limited Collector's Edition
Tigermoth Records
Audio CD$21.99
The Singles CompleteThe Singles Complete
Import
Imports 2015
Audio CD$19.98
$64.00 (used)
Live at Real World StudiosLive at Real World Studios
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2010
Audio CD$29.96
$38.67 (used)
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MAGENTA discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MAGENTA top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.54 | 147 ratings
Revolutions
2001
4.08 | 282 ratings
Seven
2004
3.47 | 100 ratings
Home
2005
3.75 | 86 ratings
Home + New York Suite
2006
3.69 | 181 ratings
Metamorphosis
2008
3.60 | 121 ratings
Chameleon
2011
3.85 | 189 ratings
The Twenty Seven Club
2013

MAGENTA Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.76 | 33 ratings
Another Time... Another Place
2004
3.76 | 29 ratings
Live at The Point
2008
4.20 | 21 ratings
Live at Real World
2010
4.00 | 3 ratings
The Gathering
2010
4.00 | 13 ratings
Live: On our way to who knows where
2012

MAGENTA Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.59 | 46 ratings
The Gathering
2005
3.85 | 21 ratings
Live At The Point 2007
2009

MAGENTA Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.05 | 31 ratings
The Singles
2007
3.28 | 9 ratings
The Collection
2008
3.33 | 3 ratings
The Singles Complete
2015

MAGENTA Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.87 | 19 ratings
Broken
2004
3.12 | 6 ratings
I'm Alive
2004
2.88 | 10 ratings
Night And Day (with Annie Haslam)
2006
3.65 | 13 ratings
The New York Suite
2006
2.82 | 12 ratings
Speechless
2007
5.00 | 8 ratings
Wonderous Stories
2009
3.71 | 7 ratings
The Lizard King E.P.
2013

MAGENTA Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Seven by MAGENTA album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.08 | 282 ratings

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Seven
Magenta Neo-Prog

Review by CapnBearbossa

3 stars I must confess, I do not understand what compels this group of obviously talented individuals (not least Christina Booth, who is possessed of one of the loveliest singing voices in all of modern pop music) to want to call themselves a "Prog" band. Ok, Rob Reed is a talented multi-instrumentalist, as he has proven with his solo albums Sanctuary I and II, and he can do a mean imitation of a Tony Banks keyboard solo or one-man orchestrated work à la Mike Oldfield, but - really? - is it possible to go from seemingly rote imitation to being the real article? And if so, do they succeed?

Let us assume that by calling Magenta "Prog" (and yes, I've heard him describe his band using this word) Reed means not that they belong to that original British vanguard that serenaded us throughout the 1970s with one eargasm right after another, but rather that - as indicated by Magenta's "Neo-Prog" classification in this website - he is following the pattern set by early 1980's stalwarts such as Marillion who sought to revive the flagging banner of progressive rock in a slightly more commercial, if still extremely virtuosic, idiom.

If that is true, then I believe Magenta hits a shade skew of the mark with 'Seven' -- supposedly a concept album dealing with the seven deadly sins. The music is certainly polished and listenable, in an Asia-meets-Genesis kind of way, from the Howe-esque guitar solos to the Downes/Banks hybrid keyboard lines ... but, with few exceptions, that music does not help rekindle old fires or rejuvenate (if that was the hope) what in the classic sense of the phrase "progressive rock" is by now a long lost art - for better or worse.

Add to this that certain Steve Reed (brother to Rob? don't know) has written the lyrics for these songs, words that admittedly provide lead singer Christina with something to use those amazing pipes on (again, that's not a bad thing); but other than that they don't really have a purpose and, by themselves, don't much impress. More than that, a look through this rather vapid libretto shows not the slightest connection between the ostensible concept of this album -- as embodied in song titles such as "Gluttony," "Greed," etc -- and the lyrics to the corresponding songs. Make of that what you will; but, as usual with a group and album that purports to be - Proggy, for lack of better words - the music itself is actually going to be the thrust and the essence of the thing.

And on those terms, Magenta do pretty well, and the playing here is at least competent.

Group spokesperson Stephen Lambe admits in his liner notes (written for the special 2-disc remixed/remastered version of 'Seven' that came out in 2009) that Reed's purpose in presenting the Magenta debut album 'Revolutions' in 2001 was to make music in the spirit of Yes and Genesis, but goes on to quote Reed in his affirmation that he intended this, their sophomore effort, to "develop an authentic Magenta sound." I don't honestly know if I should take that as a good sign, given that the album stakes its claim on some pretty blatant imitations (among them, the almost exact same organ sound you hear in Genesis' "Entangled"). Now, quite obviously, the band is adored by a select few, and in deference to those I'll grant this 78-minute excursion into, erm, proggish territory three stars instead of the two I think it merits.

So, as for me then, this CD/DVD combo makes its way back to the shelf, and I may change my opinion in years to come. But for now, Magenta strikes me as a group clinging too much to glories of a bygone time, and always looking over their shoulder at past heroes.

 The Twenty Seven Club by MAGENTA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.85 | 189 ratings

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The Twenty Seven Club
Magenta Neo-Prog

Review by poito

3 stars Good the band Magenta had time to think over their return's Chamaleon. This 27 gets them back to the good track. And whit it, the prog heroes sounds return. It seems these guys need to get dressed in their youth musical sleeves to get inspired. Unfortunately, the composition only gets high at times. As usual, the singer Christine would have been better mouth closed. She puts emotion only from time to time. Some tracks are written to wear voices, like Pearl, The Gift or The Devil at Crossroads. These are fillers on my view, songs for a TV show. The natural inputs in this album are The Lizard King, Ladyland Blues, and Stoned. I coincide with other guys in that they might have put a bit more of the honored musicians in the respective themes. If they tried, no one noticed it. A great idea and a missed opportunity.
 Chameleon by MAGENTA album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.60 | 121 ratings

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Chameleon
Magenta Neo-Prog

Review by poito

3 stars Magenta moves away from classic symphonic prog in this album. It was kind of expected. They drift to more contemporary melodies and arrangements a la Garbage, although they still make the usual winks to prog heroes as in the Yessistic Guernica. The album contains mostly short cuts, it is heavier, and the music distillates a less spirited mood than in former occasions. Rob Reed's keyboardist and composer wrote fewer passages for the keys and the workload is in the side of the guitars. Probably, they wanted to make something newer for their return, but they fail, it sounds more contemporary, not new, they were not in a good compositional moment after hiatus and rebuilding; this is a far less ambitious work than former enterprises. As in the magnificent SEVEN, there is an instrumental version of the album, which despite the short themes, it sounds less demotivated than the spoken version. But only some tracks stand without the lyrics, Breath and Glitterball. Singer Christina Booth adds little to the music here, her most accomplished theme is Book of Dreams and the closing theme Red. Musically, it is a step back for the band.
 Metamorphosis by MAGENTA album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.69 | 181 ratings

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Metamorphosis
Magenta Neo-Prog

Review by poito

4 stars Magenta initiates here a rather sound-autonomous path, without the burden of being too anchored in the sounds of the 70's (still present though). This is a peculiar album with two long 20 min compositions and two linked shorters. It is difficult to describe the musical content of the long epic tracks, they are so varied. Many tunes with unnoticed transitions. But contrary to the magnificent SEVEN, the music here needs, or it was written thinking on the lyrics. While in SEVEN Christine had to struggle to find room for her in the music (actually, there is an album version without voices that is much, much better for the audiophiles), here there are many passages emptied for she to tell us stories. She is a good singer, but if you aren't interested in stories, as is my case, her voice gets to bore in these long themes. She is more suited for shorters and Oldfieldean prog-balads. For instance, in 2013 re-edition there are some orchestral remakes of pieces from the The Ballad of Samuel and in Prekestolen where the lyrics are justified and her voice shines bright. Anyway, the entire album is an enjoyable piece of work, with some perfect compositions, full of sensitive passages, using well-known resources for the uncomplicated prog listener that is not bothered by having voices around.
 Home + New York Suite by MAGENTA album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.75 | 86 ratings

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Home + New York Suite
Magenta Neo-Prog

Review by poito

4 stars Short and easy. If you go through the reviews of this album you'll see quite agreement. This band borrows, and it borrows a bit too much. Sometimes it looks as a tribute band. Songs like Journey, are but a salad of great classics by YES and GENESIS, and most others contain different amount of other's bits. You'll also find agreement as to the well-making, sensitivity?and the possibilities the band has to create own music. Should we overlook the near-plagiarism just because they play the sounds we never wanted their true parents to stop playing? This is where you'll probably get divergence in the reviews, some say yes, others say no. I go for the no. This band can do without it. There is a difference between borrowing a style and borrowing the ideas. The album is worth four and half stars, but I'm tempted below for too much help received.
 Seven by MAGENTA album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.08 | 282 ratings

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Seven
Magenta Neo-Prog

Review by poito

5 stars First of all: Get the instrumental version. If you really want to get the essence of this album, go and chase for it. It is worth the effort. It is not that the singer blows it up, Christine has lots of followers, but the composition here needs no gimmicks or distractions for the human listeners. SEVEN is an impressive collection of themes that is better listened raw. I don't think anyone was thinking on sins, demons, angels or other religious paraphernalia when assembling the music that was flowing out of heads. This is plain music, seven gorgeous compositions, that's all. Magenta uses the well-known shameless pile of sounds of earlier prog heroes as the instruments in a symphonic orchestra and combine them perfectly with their own stuff to raise one of the finest prog works ever. I'm pretty sure that no prog heroes would complaint, they rather should be Proud for the borrow of their sounds, and they would probably be Envious too for these compositions not being their own creations, sure they will swallow them with Gluttony; if anything, they should be ashamed for being Sloth and Greedy when they left the good track to collect money out of fame; anyway, Oh prog-gods, don't get Anger, you know that we, your musical slaves, have forgiven you for that much you gave us, just sit back in your Olympic armchairs, relax and feed your Lust with this magnus opera. Not all is yours. This seven are ours.
 Seven by MAGENTA album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.08 | 282 ratings

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Seven
Magenta Neo-Prog

Review by TechnicallySpeaking

5 stars What can I say! I had the pleasure of seeing this band play live at the North East Art Rock Festival in 2007. Seven had been recently released, so the set list included a lot of songs from this album. Magenta was one of my favorite performances of that year.

I was recently listening to this record, and realized that I never reviewed it on ProgArchives, so felt compelled to do it tonight. While the lyrics of the songs do not really fit the theme of the seven sins, there are some interconnects, and each song definitely has its own charm. Of course Gluttony is the big-long epic and very enjoyable, but Sloth is probably the best song (my favorite) from the album.

I am not going to go through the process of reviewing every song in detail with this late review, but instead will tell you that if you are a progressive rock fan, this is a must-listen record and an essential addition to your collection.

I would be happy to see this album have a resurgence and would really like to see this band play in the US again at some point.

 The New York Suite by MAGENTA album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2006
3.65 | 13 ratings

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The New York Suite
Magenta Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars ''Home'' was later released in a double-disc edition, containing a long suite, which didn't fit in the album's original version, ''New York suite''.An additional 40 minutes of music, but to avoid any conflicts with fans, who had already bought the single edition, the album was also released as a separate EP.As ''New York suite'' was actually part of the concept's development, another reissue followed a few years later with the tracks placed in the correct order, so the listener could follow the story properly.

''New York suite'' comprises of four long tracks and a short outro, which see Magenta returning to the style of their early albums.It's a much more symphonic work than ''Home'' with nice Classical-influenced variations and strong 70's influences, containing lots of epic segments and beautiful organ parts.More than evident RENAISSANCE and GENESIS influences with the tracks containing lots of changing moods and offering good instrumental parts with symphonic orchestrations, excellent lyrical moments with Christina Booth's flawless voice in the forefront and some of the best melodies Rob Reed had ever written.The longer the tracks, the more pleasant the enjoyment for a Prog fan, and ''New York suite'' seems like it was created to satisfy any listener starving for some Classic Prog of the old-school.The lovely and delicate orchestrations of RENAISSANCE meet the STEVE HACKETT-like work of Chris Fry and the tricky organ plays of Rob Reed to go along with some elegant piano themes and extended Symphonic Rock instrumentals.The vocal harmonies are great, the breaks into more atmospheric textures are of top class and the overall achievement is an overlooked pearl of modern Symphonic Rock with Neo flashes.

One of the most balanced works of the style.Even its length (about 40 minutes) resembles to the vintage albums of the 70's, so this comes as a highly recommended album, especially for those in love with 70's Classic Prog.

 The Twenty Seven Club by MAGENTA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.85 | 189 ratings

BUY
The Twenty Seven Club
Magenta Neo-Prog

Review by FragileKings
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I had originally planned to get Magenta's "Seven" as my first Magenta CD because it's their highest rated album on PA. But the concept behind "The Twenty Seven Club" intrigued me and so I ordered this album without giving it a preliminary listen.

My first impression from the start was that the music was just like Arena until the wah-wah guitar comes in (on "The Lizard King") when I then thought it sounded like Syzygy or Anima Mundi. Vocalist Christina Booth comes in and sings well enough but I soon felt that she didn't have anything to distinguish herself from other run-of-the-mill female vocalists. The music sounded very good, an excellent example of symphonic / neo-prog with all the I's dotted and T's crossed. The ingredients had all been measured carefully for a tasty audio treat. But there was nothing that felt new, original, or particularly memorable. This left me sitting on a fence about having bought the album. It's all good but something was missing.

Some albums do need a bit of time to absorb and so I ploughed on ahead listening through the whole album, digesting my impressions, listening again, digesting... In conclusion, I think it is a very good if not great example of symphonic / neo-progressive rock. But I still feel something was left out of the recipe, something the band could have put in themselves to make it a unique dish.

The second track, "Ladyland Blues" is about Jimi Hendrix but if you didn't know that you'd be very unlikely to guess. The music style changes to sounding like Glass Hammer or Anima Mundi again. There are lots of good change ups in the music: sudden stops, abrupt shifts from fast to slow, rapid playing and slower playing. But I began to wonder if Magenta couldn't have tried to add some flavour of the artists they were writing about in the music. Maybe that was the obvious approach and they decided early on to avoid that. But after two songs about modern pop music legends, I feel like I have been listening to a female-fronted Syzygy / Glass Hammer / Anima Mundi.

By "Pearl" I feel the album is starting to improve in interest. This is a song for the sake of the song. It's emotive and Booth's singing has begun to suggest some soul and not just getting the notes out right. It feels right that a song about Janis Joplin should have this more emotional treatment rather than just a display of compositional skills and great prog playing.

On to Brian Jones' song "Stoned", we get a some late British sixties vocals that sound like they'd fit into an Austin Powers movie soundtrack along with some quick guitar playing. But soon we are back to more Glass Hammer / Syzygy music. Then the vocals come in with the lyrics and the music becomes upbeat. It's refreshing. Once the chorus vocals begin I feel the song is sounding pretty good. There's a synthesizer solo and a guitar solo that both seem to go for feeling rather than technical fireworks, and the piano and acoustic guitar with the vocals that follow the solos are rather beautiful. This has become one of my preferred songs on the album.

Kurt Cobain's song "The Gift" opens surprisingly with strings. Booth's vocals are sung a bit lower and she sounds not only better but even reminiscent of Joanne Hogg of Iona. By this point in the album I feel that Booth sounds better singing slower songs with her voice a bit lower or singing with backing vocals. The more energetic and dramatic music that appears on much of the album is a stretch for her. She can sing no doubt. But any soul behind her singing only seems to show up on moments like the beginning of this song.

"Devil at the Crossroads" is perhaps the only song to actually intentionally include some flavour alluding to the subject of the song. There are parts that include a bit of acoustic blues guitar, saluting Robert Johnson. The longest song on the album, there are lots of twists and turns in the music with faster sections suddenly changing to slower acoustic music with piano and acoustic guitar. There's some beautiful and powerful strings supporting the band in one part and a dark heavy guitar passage that comes up a couple of times. Though the music does little to break new ground, I find this song mixes things up very well and for me, it's the most enjoyable track on the album.

In summary, the music is well-crafted throughout and there are many moments approaching the sublime. I just feel that it is mostly very by-the-numbers and too similar to the bands I mentioned above. Christina Booth can sing very well but I feel her true vocal talents only creep up in certain places and for much of the album she is a singer of someone else's work and hasn't really made the songs her own. Overall an terrific album that just needed a little something more to make it stand out from a background of other similar sounding music.

 The Twenty Seven Club by MAGENTA album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.85 | 189 ratings

BUY
The Twenty Seven Club
Magenta Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Yet again Magenta are working as a core trio, with Christina Booth (vocals), Chris Fry (guitars) and Rob Reed (everything else) plus a guest drummer in Andy Edwards. Now, I known Rob for many years and even put Cyan on the cover of Feedback in another lifetime, and have followed his musical adventures with interest. But it has been with Magenta that he has made his name within the neo-prog scene, and this album will only do more to enhance that reputation. This is a concept album in the sense that each of the songs is about a different musician who passed away when they were 27, so for example we start with "The Lizard King" and end with "The Devil At The Crossroads", and throughout we are treated to some wonderful soaring progressive rock, and while Rob is at the heart of what is happening musically it is Christina who will always be the star of the show.

She has a wonderful voice, with great range, control and emotion, with a timbre not unlike Steve Nicks in her prime, yet with more soul and passion. Rob knows how to write material that is going to highlight this, and together they have combined to produce another album that is sheer class from start to finish. Chris's guitar provides the cut through that provides the additional edge that is needed, the harsher solo that takes away any thoughts of saccharine, the rock riffs that provide the depth. Andy Edwards proves yet again why he is such a sought after drummer with a powerful performance, while Rob is everywhere, providing fills and solos in whatever instrument he is using.

This is a band with a large sound, and in Christina have one of the finest singers around, combined with music that is always searching a way forward. Some may condemn this as just another neo-prog album, as for some reason that is a sub genre which purists often look down upon, but I and many others really enjoy this as a musical form, and there are as few as adept at it as Magenta. It may not be in quite the same league as 'Seven', but is a damn fine album all the same and one I enjoyed immensely.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Ivan_Melgar_M for the last updates

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