Magenta - New York Suite


Year of Release: 2006
Label: F2 Music
Catalog Number: 200606B
Format: CD
Total Time: 40:05:00

A little bit of explanation called for here... Originally Home was planned as a double CD, but as the completion date neared, the band debated whether such a large chunk of music may be considered a little too indigestible - we all know examples of bands who have recorded two CDs worth of material and put the whole think out as a double, when a lot of the material is simply not strong enough or is considered "filler," and could happily have been left off and produced one single, concise, well-paced album of music.

The reaction to the news that the CD would be a single provokes a somewhat paradoxical response though - whereas the majority of people, including myself, agreed with the decision and thought the band had done the right thing, some might also think "Yes, I agree, but what about the songs we will never get to hear, wonder what they were like?"

So, to that end, the band decided to make the additional material available on a second CD with the original (with the single album still being available for those that want it of course).

Now there's another trap bands fall into with this scenario?- namely taking a load of tracks that were frankly just not good enough to make the main album and releasing a bonus CD version for a few extra bucks, knowing that hard core fans will surely go for that version.

Happy to report that this is not the case here. The New York Suite is essentially the central section of the main story, where the young girl arrives in New York and details her experiences there before moving off on her journey across the US. It's an integral part of the main album and a companion piece, so to speak.

Musically this feels to me?closer to the Magenta of old, with a more progressive feel to it and more emphasis on instrumentation than on the main album, but still with that superb production and beefier sound. Keyboards take a more prominent role on this cd, and there are some pleasing nods to Floyd and Yes on some of the tracks, especially on "White Lies" and "Truth." In fact, with the length of the 4 main tracks ranging between 8 - 11 minutes this almost feels like a mini Revolutions album, especially with those aforementioned influences. The band are stretching out a little more here and enjoying themselves. Mention should also be made of the complex but very appealing and melodic vocal work, not just from Christina but from Rob and the rest of the band, too.

So basically, as a package you have the best of both worlds here with the newer, more mature and challenging material of the main CD coupled with the somewhat more traditional, progressive flavoured nature of the New York Suite.

As a fan of the band my reaction to the album is obvious, but I have always made it clear I will never give the band an easy ride; if I think they have erred or put out an absolute stinker they know I would be the first to tell them, and I keep saying I am still waiting from them to put a foot wrong somewhere along the line.

Ain't happened yet.

[Although the New York Suite will initially be available only in the special edition of Home it will also later be released as a stand-alone CD later in 2006. John wrote these as separate reviews - though written and submitted at the same time) and I've decided to keep them as separate reviews, rather than one, two part review... kind like the album is, I guess -ed.]


Tracklisting:
Arrival (10:58) / Home From Home (8:07) / White Lies (10:56) / Truth (8:44) / This Life (Reprise) (1:20)

Musicians:
Rob Reed - keyboards, bass, guitars, backing vocals, recorder, tambourine, grand piano, mandolin, acoustic guitar
Christina - lead vocals
Chris Fry - lead guitar
Martin Rosser - lead guitar
Dan Fry - bass
Allan Mason-Jones - drums

Guests:

Tim Robinson - drums
Martin Shellard - guitar
Lee Goodall - tenor saxophone
Hywel Maggs - guitar
Christian Philips - guitar, backing vocals
Troy Donockley - Uilleann pipes, whistles
Mal Pope - backing vocals
Lorrain King - backing vocals

Discography:
Revolutions (2001)
Seven (2004)
Broken (EP) (2004)
Another Time... Another Place (2004)
I'm Alive (EP) (2004)
Home (2006)
Night And Day (w/Annie Haslam) (2006)
New York Suite (2006)
The Singles (2007)
Metamorphosis (2008)
Live At The Point 2007 (2008)
Seven (ltd CD/DVD, remixed/remastered) (2009)
Live At Read World (2010)
The Gathering (2010)
Live: On OUr Way To Knows Where (2012)
Chameleon (2011)
The Lizard King E.P. (EP) (2013)
The Twenty Seven Club (2013)
We Are Legend (2017)

The Gathering (DVD) (2005)
The Metamorphosis Collection (DVD) (2008)
Live At The Point 2007 (DVD) (2009)
Chaos From The Stage (DVD) (2016)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: May 7th 2006
Reviewer: John Morley

Artist website: www.magenta-web.com
Hits: 1202
Language: english

  

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