Magenta - Home

Year of Release: 2006
Label: F2 Music
Catalog Number: 200606
Format: CD
Total Time: 67:19:00

What immediately strikes you, when compared to the band's previous output, is that the length of the songs is much shorter, resulting in no fewer than fifteen tracks. On top of that Home is a concept album based on the story of a young woman who travels through the USA during the seventies. As has become a firm trademark with Magenta, superb melodies and lots of emotion are once again present. Needless to say it's still Christina's wonderful voice which is the focal point, although also the music sends shivers down your spine. Just listen to that awesome guitar solo during "Moving On." The violins in the background come in sampled form; however, the quality of this band surely deserves to one day work with a real full orchestra. Too many bands fucked up their orchestral collaborations, but Magenta would most certainly make this a memorable event, which simply has to see the light of day on DVD. Maybe they should book the Royal Albert Hall right now? Maybe if we all go out and buy the band's output they could get the necessary funds together to make it all happen! As for now it's back to Home.

The saying goes "home is where your heart is" and indeed that's what happens here, as you can very well hear that Home is where the respective hearts of the musicians lay. In "My Home Town (Far Away)" a little bit of distorted Mike Oldfield sneaks in. It's not a secret to say that the band is very much into the authentic seventies approach of progressive rock. Without copying a specific style Magenta has combined a contemporary sound with vintage elements resulting in an album which rightfully merits a firm place in the 21st century. A couple of very short songs (around one minute in length) serve like glue to hold the entire concept together. The organ that dominates the intro of "The Journey" takes you right back to mid-seventies' Genesis, but the vocal arrangement soon takes the composition to another level, which steers it into a pure original direction, putting the Magenta stamp firmly into place. However, a rather firm Genesis direction is taken with "Demons" where the intro is very much authentic Hackett-era Genesis, even sounding more like the twin brother of Hackett's very own "A Tower Struck Down" in places. The bluesy guitar in the quieter passage sheds yet another light on the multi-coloured diversity which is Magenta.

With a little over eleven minutes, "Joe" is the longest track on Home. Its military rhythm combined with Starcastle-like vocals cast yet another different light on the band's output. More orchestral sounds have found their way into the arrangement, yet as I don't read anything about an orchestra in the liner notes, I can but think that we are once again hearing some very fine samples here. Correct me if I'm wrong here, guys! About half way through it's as if Steve Howe steps in to lend a hand backed by incredible Squire-like bass. As happens often, these influences are only used briefly so the song very much remains a Magenta original without getting the Yes treatment all over. I think that's where the strength of the band lies: to very much remain original yet also introduce some of their influences. "The Visionary" is yet another cup of tea, delivering a rather dark sounding, dramatic song. The intimate nature of "Journey's End," highlighting Christina's fragile voice, stands in sharp contrast to the powerful finale of "The Visionary." This time around voice and piano pave the way for some more incredible bluesy Pink Floydish guitar. Celtic elements step in when Iona and Mostly Autumn member Troy Donockley lets his Uilleann pipes shine during "The Traveller's Lament." The main theme is repeated in the title track, adding some more Celtic elements which ends this stunning album.

Home is released as a single album and as a limited edition 2CD set in a slipcase adding the bonus album New York Suite to the whole. Here the material focuses on the experiences the young woman has whilst being in New York. As this album will be made available on its own in September, a review of this bonus CD will be published separately.

I really can't imagine people waiting until September once you've heard the Home album so get your stingy paws onto a copy of the limited edition NOW as you won't regret it. No doubt a very strong contender for "album of the year" with Magenta and it's individual members topping the other charts! A classic!

This Life (2:30) / Hurt (5:35) / Moving On (6:02) / My Home Town (Far Away) (3:56) / Brave New Land (1:02) / The Journey (6:21) / Towers Of Hope (2:10) / Demons (5:16) / Morning Sunlight (2:43) / Joe (11:14) / A Dream (1:11) / The Visionary (6:00) / Journey?s End (7:41) / The Travellers Lament (1:15) / Home (4:13)

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


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

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)
Trojan E.P. (2017)
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: July 2nd 2006
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 1315
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]