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Saga - The Beginners Guide to Throwing Shapes CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.00 | 116 ratings

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3 stars I'm not a great fan of SAGA but I like their music as well. My collection of their albums is not complete because of two reasons. First, even though I like the music as it has its own musical identity, it's not the band where I am a die hard fan. Second, most of the CDs of SAGA albums are very expensive. Usually I purchase only the CD on secondary market because it's not worth it for me to buy the expensive item for band that I do not a great fan of it. This "The Beginners Guide To Throwing Shapes" CD I purchased from a secondary market with only USD 6 and I think this album is not bad at all. In fact it demonstrates SAGA's consistency in the kind (and characteristic) of music they play.

The key colors of this album (like any of Saga album) is the beautiful combination of unique Ian Crichton guitar riffs and unique keyboard style of Jim Crichton. This combination builds the strong foundation of SAGA music. The opening track "How Do I Look" (4:33) proves how this combination work in intertwining fashion. Ian brings his riffs, rhythm section followed with solo, augmented nicely with Jim's beautiful keyboard. It does continue with the following tracks "Starting All Over" (4:01), "Shape" (5:10) and even "Odd Man Out" (4:54). One of my favorite track from this album is "Scarecrow" (4:20). This song has a very beautiful opening guitar riffs followed with nice rhythm section when vocal enters the music. Well, I do really enjoy how the guitar is played during rhythm section. In fact, this is what makes this song is very powerful for me - the rhythm section by guitar! Keyboard augments the guitar very nicely. Melody-wise, this is also not bad at all. What then makes me more enjoyable is the interlude part where guitar switches its role as rhythm section into solo, augmented beautifully by keyboard. Yeah! The concluding track "Giant" (7:10) is also of interest to me especially with its varied styles and textures. The guitar sounds like mandolin at intro part.

Overall, this album has a good balance of combination in demonstrating keyboard and guitar in its unique way. It contains good songwriting and performance and it's consistent with SAGA music style and approach.

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 3/5 |


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