Saga - Trust

Year of Release: 2006
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: IOMCD 246/SPV 48842
Format: CD
Total Time: 49:39:00

When I was introduced to the music of Saga some thirty years ago, I simply didn't like it. This was not the kind of progressive rock I was used to. My kind of symphonic rock was full of incredible time changes, breaks and tons of solos. Mainly in the drum section I wanted to hear something completely unpredictable that would take the entire band on a journey which unravelled unexpected scenes second after second. The music of Saga simply was way too predictable for me. To my ears they sounded much too simple to be categorized under the prog label. To me this was ordinary rock music with a handful of prog elements thrown in for good measure, as I didn't encounter the true soul which was apparent with all my other favourite music, whether it was Yes, Camel, Genesis or a myriad of little unknown yet splendid bands whose albums I cherished. The only thing which attracted me to Saga was their use of the chapters idea. However, as time evolved, I came to appreciate what they did, although I was definitely sure I would never be an avid fan. Years later, having heard many of their albums and not only having seen the band perform live several times but also having spoken to the guys in person, I finally had to rephrase my initial idea about these chaps. Their music is not simple yet more direct and streamlined, although it has to be said that throughout their career they delivered both splendid material as well as some bad quality stuff.

With sixteen studio albums under their belt, three live releases and eight compilations, our Canadian friends generated millions of album sales around the world playing in front of an estimated 15 million fans spread over their nearly 30 year career. Images At Twilight and Silent Knight put Saga definitely on the map. But soon afterwards they started experimenting with sounds and production floating away from what people had already baptised the "Saga sound." However, with Network two years ago, it was as if the Saga story had gone full circle and they found themselves back at square one. This time around, though, they brought along their experience, which had accumulated over the years, enabling the band to start a new chapter in their impressive history. "Network" gave them extra fuel at the right time. With new drummer Brian Doerner adding new dynamics and creativity, the band's seventeenth studio album, their first for Inside Out, is probably their all-time best!

From the very first second of "That's As Far As I'll Go" you witness the fact that these guys have found their much needed second breath of fresh air. The song sounds fresh, lively and with plenty of twists and turns to make even the most demanding music lover happy. Solos are restricted to quick flashes rather than turn into repetitive patterns which have lost the soul of the song. It's also the perfect introduction for the band's new drummer as he pulls out all the stops in this perfect album opener. Ian Crichton's distinctive guitar chops give "Back To The Shadows" the exclusive Saga label which together with Michael Sadler's wonderful singing deliver a very radio friendly tune. Talking of radio friendly material, Saga has perfectly understood that there's no need to cram eighty minutes of new material onto one disc. Instead they go for eleven tracks which together clock in at a little under fifty minutes, the perfect length for any CD. That way you make sure that each song doesn't contain unnecessary passages which block the spirit of the composition anyway. All songs on display here are examples of great song writing, which contain lush arrangements and exquisite technical performance with the emphasis on melody. Unlike other progressive music, the Saga material becomes easier to digest, although when you take enough time to listen in detail you will be amazed to hear that it's not as simple as it looks.

The acoustic, almost classical "My Friend" nearly sounds like vintage Barclay James Harvest, nicely accompanied by woodwind players, displaying a side of the band we haven't seen (heard) before. This intimate song is immediately followed by the title track "Trust," which is probably the most powerful of the lot. The up-tempo "Footsteps In The Hall" uses certain keyboard interventions as percussive extras which adds some extra spice to the whole in an original fashion, whilst the duel between guitar and synths is impressive as well. In "You Were Right" some Coldplay piano creeps inside the intro before it settles for mainstream Saga material. Probably the most remarkable track of the album has to be the closing song "On The Other Side." Starting out with ? wait for it ? accordion, it's as if the song will evolve into an authentic Irish jig, but then keyboards and guitar lead it towards classic Saga material, embracing a Gentle Giant feel along the way. A perfect way to end a perfect album.

"Trust" me when I say that Trust is probably the best album Saga has ever delivered!

The first edition of the special addition comes as a digipack adding a DVD featuring the making of the album as a bonus. Meanwhile a CD-single has been issued containing radio edits of both "It's Your Life" and "Trust" together with the full length "That's As Far As I'll Go," a limited must have for the diehard Saga fan.

That's As far As I'll Go (4:36) / Back To The Shadows (5:16) / I'm OK (5:36) / Time To Play (3:31) / My Friend (3:19) / Trust (5:44) / It's Your Life (4:10) / Footsteps In The Hall (3:25) / Ice In The Rain (5:01) / You Were Right (4:05) / On The Other Side (4:56)

Michael Sadler - vocals, bass, keyboards
Jim Crichton - bass, keyboards
Ian Crichton - lead guitar
Jim Gilmour - keyboard, clarinet, vocals
Brian Doerner - drums, vocals

Images At Twilight (1979/1987/2002)
Silent Knight (1980/2002)
Worlds Apart (1981/2003)
In Transit (1982)
Heads Or Tails (1983)
Behavior (1985/2002)
Wildest Dreams (1987)
The Beginner's Guide to Throwing Shapes (1989)
The Security of Illusion (1993/2003)
Defining Moments (1994)
Steel Umbrellas (1995/2002)
Gen 13 (1996)
Pleasure and The Pain (1997)
Detour - Live (1998)
Full Circle (1999)
House Of Cards (2001)
Marathon (2003)
Network (2004)
Chapters Live (2005)
Trust (2006)
Remember When: The Very Best Of Saga (2006)
Worlds Apart Revisited (2007)
10,000 Days (2007)
The Human Condition (2009)

Silhouette (DVD) (2003)
All Areas: Live In Bonn 2002 (CD/DVD) (2004)
Worlds Apart Revisited (CD/DVD) (2006/2007)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin CA

Added: May 8th 2006
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 954
Language: english


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