Magenta - Revolutions - 2001


Hard to review. I have two options: or four stars and a half, or zero stars and a half. And I will explain it in only four words: originality zero, quality ten.


The leader of this project (I hope Magenta go on releasing CDs in the future) is Rob Reed (best known by Cyan and The Fyreworks), who sings and plays guitar, bass, keyboards and tambourine. The other musicians are the great singer Christina, the drummer Tim Robinson, the guitar players Chris Fry, Martin Shellard and Andy Edwards, and the percussionist Tim Short.

"Revolutions" is a double conceptual CD which contains four long suites ("Children of the sun" (19:00), "The white witch" (20:23), "Man the machine" (24:56), and "Genetesis" (21:48)), two short "intermezzos" ("Opus 1" (0:51) and "Opus 2" (1:51)), and one ending track "The warning" (7:17).

And what could we find in "Revolutions"?, a great tribute to the European progressive´s most classic sound. Magenta sounds like legendary bands such as Yes ("Spirit of the land", first part of "Children...", "Renewed purpose", or the guitar and Squire bass work of "The journey" are good proofs), Renaissance ("Thanksgiving", "The white witch"), Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant, ELP or Genesis. The treatment of the instruments is, in the same way, surprising: analog keyboards, nice seventies-like production, bright sounds, crystalline acoustic guitars in both "Opus", etc. And there is no neoprog here, there is only high doses of classic symphonic rock.

And there is no more to talk about this CD. Perhaps "Revolutions" is not very original, but The Flower Kings´ "Stardust we are" or Marillion´s "Fugazi" are not very original too… and they are masterpieces. And "Revolutions" is as good as both mentioned albums. Reed had been able to create a CD with more classic prog sound than "Magnification" or any of Yes CDs in nineties decade... and also we can listen to a new Annie Haslam. If you are "classic" prog-heads, don´t doubt... "Revolutions", a CD to listen to it, to enjoy it, and to keep it as one of the best recordings in 2001.


Sure: four stars and a half. I will look for originality another day.

author - date - rating - label

Alfonso Algora - November de 2001 -   - F2 Music