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Magic Pie - Motions Of Desire CD (album) cover


Magic Pie


Symphonic Prog

3.84 | 282 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Sorry chaps, there's nothing 'progressive' about this album. This is just another attempt to resurrect classic 1970s 'hard rock', with various bits of prog keyboard chucked in for good measure.

Somewhat cryptically, the band announce (on the CD's sleeve) that "CHANGE, closely backed up by themes in the next songs, today probably are [sic!] the most representative as the framework for the future of the band". Heaven knows what they are trying to tell us here, but it's obvious that Magic Pie will need to go through a few CHANGES before they're actually playing the music of the future.

The album opens with a 'cascade' of fast notes played by lead guitar, organ, bass and drums in perfect unison - a figure that will be repeated so often it soon becomes tiring. On at least two other tunes the band make extensive use of the same technique (of playing rapidly in unison), and this inevitably distracts the listener from the tunes themselves.

Another defect is the band's habit of singing no less than THREE of the (anthem-like) climaxes to their tunes in chorus, with an extra vocalist belting out variations on the main melody in the background. All vocals are meant to be Highly Earnest - about 'hope for a better tomorrow', learning to distinguish between 'illusion and reality' and such. I read a review which described MOTION OF DESIRE as 'Kansas meets Uriah Heep' - so you get the picture. I used to think Frank Zappa had dealt the over-the-top vocals of 'idealistic' stadium rock a fatal blow with his parodies on SHEIK YERBOUTI and other thirty-year old albums... Apparently I was wrong. 'Does humor belong in music?' Maybe someone should ask Magic Pie.

Someone should also inform the band that some of their lyrics do not exactly mean what they're expecting them to mean, e.g. 'I will lead you to a better future/I will give shelter to the poor/Give me your hand and I'll show you the door'. These words may be set to one of the catchiest melodies on the album, but didn't a single soul in that recording studio realize that 'showing someone the door' means kicking them out?

Such blemishes are a shame, really, since there's quite a bit of promising material on MOTIONS OF DESIRE. The title song, for example, is truly majestic and almost Springsteen-like in its sweep; it carries the listener away. Something similar could be said about the final tune, 'Dream Vision' (in spite of those pedestrian vocals): great power chords, infectious rhythm. All over the album you'll find exciting, truly inspired keyboard solos by Gilbert Marshall.

But someone should beg Kim Stenberg, the leader of Magic Pie, to chuck out his over-the-top 'heavy' guitar embellishments!

fuxi | 2/5 |


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