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Saga - Behaviour CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.03 | 135 ratings

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2 stars Having read some of the previous reviews, I have to agree that this album seems to establish where the group wants to head with their music. One question though, after my interview with Ian, is how much the pressure from their record label pushed the band towards a more commercial radio-friendly sound, and how much was natural progression.

When Behaviour came out, Heads or Tales was still getting much play on my record player, and one of my friends still played In Transit & Worlds Apart quite frequently as we had both just got into the band in the last year.

So when this one came out, I heard the single "What Do I Know", and thought that Saga had managed to keep the magic of their previous two releases and added some radio appeal without losing their prog edge.

So I come to this review of two minds. First, with Genesis putting out angular white soul, with the Cars perfecting and giving the ultimate polish to their perfect pop, and even Queen hardly rocking hard anymore, Saga really should have hit big with this album. This music was tailor made for many a radio programming style - MOR, Adult Contemporary, Modern Rock, AOR even. But "What Do I Know" didn't manage to get the album up the charts, nor even match the previous two releases' success. Second, as good as it was for what it was ... it wasn't what I liked about Saga, nor was it music that I generally listened to. So the cassette that I bought was traded back pretty quick for something else.

So for this review, I picked up a used LP copy at Spin-It, and uploaded it to my PC. I'm listening to it as I write. So is my wife. She quite likes it. And despite my misgivings, I can see why. This is excellent adult rock. There are very few prog aspects apart from some of the playing. But the compositions themselves are examples of how a mature band can strive for a more mainstream & commercial sound without sounding stilted, unnatural or forced, or worse bland. And too many 80s giants fell into that trap (Styx anyone?)

So I won't hold you longer. If you like What Do I Know. If you enjoy adult rock. If you like intelligent pop with a modern sheen, then this is an album that will please you.

If you're looking for the Neo before Neo sound that I loved about Saga, their prog stylings on such albums as the debut, Worlds Apart and especially Heads or Tales, then Behaviour is one album to pass on. Still worth a listen for the curious. More than one fellow PA collab holds this one in good regard. Just don't expect Heads Or Tales PT II

Unfortunately. A 2 for competence.

debrewguy | 2/5 |


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