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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 31 August 2004
Following on from the 2002 comeback album "Breath Of Life", this new offering from one of Britain's best kept secrets is nothing short of stunning!
Whereas BoL was a collection of (good) songs written by Tony Clarkin while Magnum were in recess, "Brand New Morning" has been written as a Magnum album from start to finish, and the result is a beautifully flowing work that just screams "classic Magnum" at you from the off.
No fillers here, all great songs. From the broodingly heavy "Immigrant Son", to the ghostly feel of wind over a battlefield in "The Blue and the Grey", the song writing is of the highest quality with meaningful lyrics and perfectly timed solos and fills. Bob Catley's voice sounds as good as ever - who said beer and cigarettes are bad for you?
Just when you think it can't get any better, "The Scarecrow" arrives and blows you away - Magnum's best ever song? Possibly, it has all the ingredients that put it up there with the likes of "Les Morts Dansant" and "Don't Wake The Lion". Likewise, this album is good enough to be put on the same pedestal as the 2 albums those songs came from. It is unlikely to reach anything close to the commercial success of the 80's, but that doesn't stop it being of equal quality.
The recording has benefited from the addition of Harry James on drums who drives the music through brilliantly. With Al Barrow on bass, they form a very tight cohesive rhythm section. Mark Stanway provides some scintillating keyboard breaks that further enhance the classic feel. Production is good, but retains enough of the raw sound to make it feel like a British rock album. Gone are the over-polished production attempts to break the band in the USA, thank goodness.
Bottom line.... buy it! Now! You won't be disappointed.
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on 3 October 2004
My wife and I have been fans of Magnum since the eighties. And were very disapointed when the broke up in about '96. Though we have enjoyed Bobs own albums and Bob and tony in Rard Rain, we were glad to have them back together as Magnum. And this album is vintage Magnum to the point of quality right through it in sound and in the lyrics. From the first few bars of "A brand new morning" we new that we were going to enjoy it the whole album. Even our ten year old son can't get enough of the album!
As one of the previous reviewers said, it is a great same that they have not done any singles. They want the album to do well, Kerrang thought it to be execellent but the only way to let the rest of the world appreciate Magnums quality is to do a single and a video to go with it. I believe that Magnum deserves a honour on the rock hall of fame. We have seen them live and they are no different. That's quality! Long live Magnum!!
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on 25 November 2004
At long last the Magnum of old are back. This is a welcome return to classic Magnum style. Catley's voice is as powerful and emotional as ever and I can't fault the rock solid musicanship or mix. It opens with the strong "Brand New Morning", a joy to those of us who followed Magnum in their early years and who felt the band had lost their way. While some bands' lyrics seem to force messages on the listener, Clarkin's lyrics are powerful, but thought-provoking, and Catley's delivery does them justice. "The Blue and The Grey" asks questions that bring to mind an earlier Magnum song, "Soldier of the Line". For me, the high point of the album was "I'd Breathe For You" both in terms of lyrics and delivery. Yes, you can listen and look for deep meanings into all of the songs, but at the end of the day this is an outstanding rock album.
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on 6 September 2004
So, Magnum return with a full-time drummer in Harry James and, having gotten the rust out of the machine with "Breath Of Life" they have returned to form with this album. This album, if there were any justice or taste, would re-establish this fine band back on the map of Rock's finest. However, until then we who do buy it must enjoy it's treasures until the world wakes up to the precious commodity that is "Brand New morning".
Firstly, I have to say that I am glad that this is a welcome return to the warmer keyboard sound of the 80's by Mark Stanway and not the high-octave piano "American" sound that was present in the album's of the 90's.
so to the tracks then:
Brand New Morning - Fine intro and a good, solid rock song. Very average for Magnum but that is a pretty high bar for the average band to reach. Bob's vocals are as strong as ever and the instrument work by all is exemplary (a trend that continues throughout the album).
It's Time To Come Together - If I have any complaint about this album at all, it is the fact that for whatever reason, the band and/or record company have released no singles to promote the album. I state this now as there are several songs that would make good singles, this being one of them. A great rocker with a good message and would be great on the stereo or in the car or on the dancefloor of your local rock disco.
We All Run - Great song! Another single but with a dark vision of the world and a great chorus which is both anthemic and thought-provoking.
The Blue & The Grey - In my humble opinion, the outstanding track on the album. A perfect example of a simple message, an uncomplicated arrangement and vocals and music that stir the soul and the emotions. Minimal in style, flawlessly executed and beautiful to listen to.
I'd Breath For You - This is a good rocker and another potential single. Very well made with Bob really hitting the heights with his voice.
The Last Goodbye - If ever a song deserved to be a single and get airplay, it's this one. Magnum's ability at changes of pace work wonderfully well here and the chorus is a real sing-along delight.
Immigrant Son - One of the weaker tracks but still a very good song. heavier than the usual Magnum song, but still a good song and a good chorus to sing to.
Hard Road - A lot of fans don't like this, but I really like it. Bob's vocals are strong, and need to be, on this song and the harmony witht eh keyboard is haunting.
The Scarecrow - This track feels too long at first (it clocks in at just under 10 minutes) but the more I've listened to it the more I've warmed to it. excellent work by the entire band.
If I have any complaints at all it is the lack of singles to promote the album and the fact that there is no ballad this time. But these are minor quibbles when dealing with such an exemplary piece of work.
Best thing they've done since "Wings of Heaven".
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on 12 September 2004
Well, this was worth waiting for. Listening to this was like listening to the Magnum of old, with a mixture of their later feel.
For me, 'The Last Goodbye' is what I'd call "classic" Magnum and I hope this album becomes the hit they deserve. There are some tracks which feel slightly overly long, but there are none that I would say are "duff" or too 'fluffy'. I'm proud to add this to my collection of their work and it goes to show, these old rockers are far from done.
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on 25 November 2004
Firstly, the bad news. This is not the next "Storyteller's Night" (which happens to be probably the best British rock album of all time).
The good news? Brand New Morning gets pretty close to being as good as Storyteller. Despite what our Kiwi friend said in another review, Brand New Morning is much better than Breath of Life (which itself was an excellent album).
I won't go through the tracks individually, thats alreay been done, but just to reiterate, there are no bad tracks on this album, they are all excellent.
Overall then, classic Magnum - if you already are a fan then this will definitely NOT disappoint. If you aren't already a fan, why not?! Buy this album, sit back and enjoy one of the greatest British rock bands of all time doing what they do best (oh and then get Storytellers Night and be even more amazed...)
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on 4 July 2014
Magnum is a UK rock band that is still going and treading the live stage for over 30 years. The main combo of the band are the duo of Bob Catley tiny in height but a mighty voice and Tony Clarklin guitarist and chief song writer. Brand New Morning may not be a greatest album by the Magnum force but still a 7 out of 10 for keeping the rock going and lasting this long and many more to come after this. This is one of the few CDs Studio albums I was missing and thought I better fill the gap in. In fact it is a gap filler album with as said above 7/10 of good songs, but a stepping stone any band have in their long career in music. There will be a few downer moments but that should not let you stop and give up but keep going for a better one next time around, which Magnum did a few years after this release.
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on 10 November 2006
After the disappointing comeback album, Breath Of Life, Magnum returned in 2004 with Brand New Morning. Fans could be forgiven for feeling a little apprehensive about this one, despite some fantastic shows in support of Breath Of Life. However, the band returned in outstanding form with a set of songs that to these ears at least, represents Guitarist/Songwriter Tony Clarkin's best work since 1988's Wings Of Heaven.

The title track gets things off to a blistering start, and It's Time To Come Together sustains the momentum. We All Run should have been released as a single and The Blue And The Grey is yet another fine war song. It's usually about this time on an album that you expect the customary in one ear and out the other album filler, but instead, Magnum maintain the pace and consistency by walloping the listener with a barrage of edgy rocky tracks, I'd Breathe For You, The Last Goodbye, the simply excellent Immigrant Son and Hard Road. The final track, The Scarecrow is something of an epic and a musical tour de force. However, it is probably the weakest track on what is probably Magnum's heaviest ever album. I would challenge any rock/metal fan not to be entertained by this record. There are enough riffs and thumping rhythm sections to keep hard rockers happy and just enough melodies to please any Magnum fan. Also the inclusion of a real drummer this time (Thunder's Harry James), raises the standard of the whole music on offer here.

The production gives the tracks a raw, dirtier feel than previous albums, and there is a slightly dark undertone in almost every track, which gives the whole album a real edge. The package is topped off with some decent cover artwork created by bassist Al Barrow, although the use of one of the better known band logos wouldn't have gone amiss.

In short then, Brand New Morning stands alongside Chase The Dragon, On A Storytellers Night and Wings Of Heaven as one of the best Magnum records thus far. Rumour has it that the next Magnum album, Princess Alice And The Broken Arrow (due in march '07) will be even better. Bring it on. As for Brand New Morning, BUY, BUY, BUY!!!
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on 21 February 2014
For me not a memorable album despite being glad to see the band reforming, touring and producing new material.
If you are new to Magnum and want to try an albums produced during this stage of their careers I would reccomend the excellent "Princess Alice....." or "Valley of the MoonKing
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VINE VOICEon 19 May 2007
Magnum are back! A real drummer, Harry James and some proper Magnum songs mean they're back in business on this album. A stronger selection of songs than Breath Of Life and with better production too, this album harks back to the days of old. Perhaps the only criticism one could level here is the tempo, all the songs are mid-paced. The follow-up, Princess Alice is superb (even better) but suffers a similar 'ploddy' tendency which renders them more mellow late-night chillout albums than ones you'd play before a night out!
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