|Magnum Brand New Morning||SPV|
Magnum are back and heading back towards their best work with an album that erases the disappointment of Breath Of Life. This is a tighter record and sounds like a proper band record and overall gives the impression of a far more cohesive body of work than its seemingly over-programmed predecessor.|
This is Magnum's second album post-reunion, albeit with a slightly different line up. This album sees the guys getting back into the groove and getting more comfortable with the new line-up, which now features Thunder drummer Harry James.
It also sees songwriter Tony Clarkin more focused on what the traditional sound of Magnum really is and he delivers some great new songs.
This is a far more guitar driven album and ranks alongside Goodnight LA and Rock Art for its aggression.
The downside is that the production is quite rough. I'm not overly into the whole guitar sound employed. There is a certain muddy tone to the whole album. It's certainly not as crisp and clear as such gems as Sleepwalking or Wings Of Heaven. Comparisons could be made to a similar tone on Goodnight LA.
Additionally, the pace of the album is a little one dimensional. The tracks are all generally mid-paced, with only a couple of songs really breaking out into a sweat. The band could also have used a couple of extra impact choruses.
Those points made, Brand New Morning is still a fine album and one that I think will please just about all new and long time Magnum fans.
Bob Catley is in his usual immaculate vocal form, Tony Clarkin rocks, and the rhythm section of Al Barrow and new drummer Harry James really set up the band. Needless to say, Mark Stanway also provides an essential ingredient, with his piano and organ really filling the band's sound.
Track By Track:
Brand New Morning features a typically grand intro, with the guitar tone of the album quickly set. The band set out to rock and the very first track does than in fine style, with a good chorus to sing along to.
It's Time To Come Together is one of the best tracks. This sees one of the few tracks that Mark Stanways' piano is given feature spot. It's an uptempo, feel good rocker with some fine piano and a crunchy guitar fuelled chorus. Bob Catley sounds great and the added layers around his voice is trademark Magnum. Will be a good track to hear live.
We All Run is a dark and heavy track, with a real moody presence. The verse lightens up, which gives the memorable chorus further impact.
The Blue And The Grey is another melancholy track and gives further personality to the mood of the whole album. The chorus picks up the pace a little of this dark and haunting rock ballad.
I'd Breathe For You lifts the tempo again, but not past the mid-tempo fare of the album in general. A slow enjoyable verse that features a strong Catley vocal leads into a moody chorus, with Stanway's piano again playing a prominent role. The track gets more intense and almost orchestral towards the end.
From the outset, The Last Goodbye smolders along until bursting to life during the chorus, which really lifts the spirit and the tempo of the album. A feel good anthem, shrouded in mood and mystique. Only Magnum could do it!
Immigrant Son is a dark and rocking mid-tempo track that doesn't feature a very prominent chorus, but is enjoyable nevertheless.
The sound of Hard Road remains in keeping with the rest of the album, but it differs in that it rocks a little more come chorus time and features a more stripped back verse. One of the more traditional sounding Magnum tracks of the album.
The Scarecrow is the obligatory epic to close the album and just like On Christmas Day on Rock Art and Don't Wake The Lion from Wings Of Heaven is about 10 minutes in length and builds in intensity as it rocks along. But as always with Mangum, the guys never seem to duplicate themselves and this remains another original epic.
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