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Salem Hill - Mimi's Magic Moment CD (album) cover


Salem Hill



3.78 | 83 ratings

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3 stars Salem Hill consecutively failed to produce great works that could move me. I really wonder how this band is catalogued as a symph prog one while at best they produced some average neo-prog and very much derivative music.

From AOR-ish in their debuts, they moved to a "Yes" pastiche and then moved on to be a "Kansas" one. This was felt in their previous recording ("Be") and is even more highlighted here.

A song as "The Joy Gem" holds any ingredient you could expect from this very good US band (I mean "Kansas"). The fact that David Ragsdale is holding the violin in this song is of course not alien to the feeling. In all, this song is of course quite pleasant: melodic, intense and truly symphonic. It is probably one of their best songs so far. If only the whole album would be so good.

This album features four songs of which "Stolen By Ghosts" is the shortest one. The extremely poor and mellowish start could have been some sort of a "press next" piece but the instrumental middle part is really excellent and should not be missed. When it is good, I always recognize. But as soon as the vocals come back during the last seconds, they just ruin it all (as the first half the song).

This "Mimi's Magic Moment" is really shining thanks to the great David Ragsdale who has a major influence on two of the three epics available. But if a band is relying on external guests to make it, I just believe that there is a strong and basic problem with their work (Neil Morse being another guest featured on this album).

In terms of epic, I have to say that "All Fall Down" is far from reaching the emotion and consistency of "The Joy Gem". It sounds quite awkward and passionless. More of a jam stuff during the instrumental parts. For over twenty minutes. There are hardly few moments of grandeur included here. My conception of interesting epics is quite different. But I've been grown up with "Close To The Edge", "Supper's Ready" and "Thick As A Brick "... This song is just long, it doesn't hold anything worth of a true and gorgeous epic IMHHO.

The band reverts to a much more classic YesSound for the last track of this album. A classic and tortured musical intro, some quiet keys and vocals to follow could have lead to some greater composition. As such, it is just another piece of music which isn't remarkable. Too derivative, really.

"Mimi's Magic Moment" is not a bad album, it just lacks of highlights / personality like (at best) each of "Salem Hill" work. Three stars is as high as I can go.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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