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Magic Pie - Motions Of Desire CD (album) cover


Magic Pie


Symphonic Prog

3.84 | 280 ratings

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1 stars Here is a fine example of a new much ballyhooed prog debut that, after countless attempts and various mood preparations, I just can't fawn over with my usual unabashed praise (I am wrongly accused of being overgenerous with our solar-stellar rating system but I just review/purchase the ones I like and most prog I just love anyway, faults and all). In a nutshell, that these Norwegians can play and sing, there is no doubt. But can they do it well? The opener "Change" best illustrates the good and the evil in their musical philosophy, a musical encyclopedia of all prog/prog-related genres (with numerous corny/clichéd touches that my well-worn ears have heard before), way too many ingredients and genres mixed up hodge-podge: pseudo jazz guitar flourishes meshed with some mercifully short scat singing which just does not cut any mustard, ersatz hard rock noodlings and an unimaginative metal vocal posturing that goes absolutely nowhere (a la Styx/Boston/Spooky Tooth), bluesy escapades that try to evoke Traffic but fail and finally, a holier than thou lyrical package that is (" I will lead you to a better tomorrow") just plain grotesque . I just can't, sorry! Next up, "Motions of Desire" is a bit better but remains very predictable, almost as bland as the most commercial neo-prog out there, again ruined by an overall mood that sounds fake and totally unoriginal, lowlighted by a wimpy lead guitar solo that plays with the melody instead of igniting it. "Full Circle Poetry" is more like full circle poverty, as a bland melody is led by a militaristic beat, evolving into a strange bluesy lament that morphs into a synth foray that plods on and then developing into a heavier vocal segment, with occasional revisits of the earlier themes. Prog's musical version of Debbie does Dallas! Absolutely horrible, 14 minutes of tortured drivel..Send this to Guantanamo Bay! "Without Knowing Why" is a funnily appropriate title that, for once, gets straight to the point with a revolting exhibition of bogus guitar prog that is just appalling. They lack any identity, which in prog is a rather rare occurrence. This is text book soulless rock that makes Asia sound heavenly by comparison. The massive "Illusion" suite in 4 parts (with part 2 missing) has the seedings of decency with a nice flute intro but quickly shows its true colors, a decent melody butchered by very poor arrangements, wimpy melodies, pointless Hammond pumping, horribly phony vocals and show-offy guitar licks. Give me Pallas, ELP's Love Beach, even Grace instead of this. Frankly, the final cut (sic!) is the most decent; "Dream Vision" has some spirit to it but guitarist Kim Stenberg finds quick ways to turn it maudlin. This is the best "prog by numbers" album I possess (keeping it only to justify to myself that some PA colleagues find this amazing, which in turn amazes me to no end). After a dozen auditions, this is no magic pie, more like a dull pudding and hence very deserving of a single somewhat faded graham crumb. Yeah! But did I like the album?
tszirmay | 1/5 |


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