Saga - Network - 2004
The fact that Saga keeps on releasing albums is one of those miracles that happens from time to time. Surprisingly the band has achieved a great success in Germany and that is one of the reasons of its survival after all these years.
Well, here we have Michael Sadler (vocals), Jim Crichton (keyboards), Ian Crichton (guitars), Jim Gilmour (bass) again along with the new member Christian Simpson (drums), with ten new tracks. The band has´t waste the time because lately they have released some studio albums and DVD's, and re-released their discography.
Saga definitely takes the good path after promising early albums (“Saga” (78), “Images at Twilight” (79) & “Silent Knight” (80)), later fiascos (“Behaviour” (85), “Wildest Dreams” (87)), and intermittent signs of geniality and excellence (the best album “Generation 13” (95) is placed between the worst “Steel Umbrellas” (94) and “Pleasure & The Pain” (97)). So, the latest albums “Full Circle” (99), “House of Cards” (01), “Marathon” (03) and this “Network” are worthy collections of pop-rock enriched with small doses of progressive vitamin and the typical mark of the band.
Therefore, and as happens with other legendary bands (Asia), Saga has lost its ability of surprise and only offers small snippets of progressive music. Especially good are “Keep it Real” (4:19) and its impressive and Rushish beginning a la “Spirit of the Radio”, the ballad “If I were you” (3:50), the rocker “Don´t look now” (5:06), or the ending instrumental part of “Believe” (4:56).
As I stated, anything new under the sun. Anyway Saga is living a second youth keeping a healthy average of quality in all of their latest albums. Anyway only for fans and consumers of progressive in the exact measurement.