I remember the first time I heard the Magic Numbers, they seemed to tap into a bygone type of music that was instantly familiar. The first album had many highlights, and I still listen to some of those songs today (some 10? Years later).
I bought the second album, and admit I didn't like it so much. One or two songs, but apart from that I was disappointed. And that's where me and The Magic Numbers parted company.
So this then - 'Alias'. I heard Shot in the dark and really liked it. It built cleverly with melodic twists and turns. All the way to something that features quite heavily on this album: Romeo really wiggling out on the guitar. Right up my alley (so to speak!)
I've listened several times now. It's great - I love it. I think it will reward repeat listens and those that have rated it low already possibly did so rather flippantly. But music is a funny thing. One man's (or woman's) Beatles is another's One Dimension.
Another thing - the bass is great (to the extent that I put Michelle Stodart into my all stars female supergroup). Sean on drums has created something multilayer and rather special and you can really see Angela's influence strongly coming through now (the female/male vocals throughout push them far out from the herd).
So I endorse wholeheartedly. It's not soft and fluffy anymore. It's edgy and powerful.