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Saga - House Of Cards CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.51 | 147 ratings

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3 stars Saga's 14th album (and counting) as the albums continue to add up. At this point, which happens to be 2001, Saga seemed to have settled on a sound that isn't technically difficult to listen to (in prog terms anyway), yet still more complex than popular music, not trying to chase the radio-friendliness that they were trying to attain in the 80's, thank goodness. "House of Cards" is sitting in that sweet spot quite well, however, it suffers a bit since it gets lumped together among the albums they released at the time and, if you aren't paying a lot of attention, it can become quite average. But, again, it's much better than what they had been doing 10 years before.

After their amazing release in 1995, "Generation 13", the band stepped back a little, but they didn't overdo it like they did before. The band still has that unique sound that they acquired in the first part of their career with Sadler's vocals, the Crichton brothers guitar and bass work and Gilmour's excellent keys. On this particular album, for the most part, they tend to keep things on an even keel, never getting to heavy and complex, but never really reverting to 100% pop either. The music is enjoyable, has it's share of good hooks, but also has nothing that makes it stand out from their many albums. It's a pretty average Saga album.

Two more "Chapters" are added to the Einstein story, and those are probably the most memorable of the tracks. However, there is a bonus track stuck in the middle of the album on the Canadian version of the album "So Good So Far" which strangely enough, is one of the better tracks. The verses contain "rhythmic spoken word" sections that are not typical of the band, plus the instrumental break sounds very much like classic Saga. It's an upbeat break from the more moderate and lower key songs on the album.

There just isn't much else to say about it. If you know Saga's style and sound, it's quite typical of that from around the same time frame as the albums around it. Good, but not great, but occasionally rising above, and definitely better than their albums they released from '85 - '94. I give this a 3.5 rating, but because of it's average feel, round it down to 3 stars. Good, but non-essential pretty much sums it up.

TCat | 3/5 |


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