on 20 June 2011
Strange one this, but that's not a bad thing at all, it just means you've got to be in a strange mood to listen to it. Gillan(the band)to me have always been a progressive rock band, a bit of an oddity, but a good oddity!
"What's the matter" kicks off this record, a hard rocker in the "Roller" mode (from Mr Universe!)which is no bad thing at all, Next up "Bluesy blue sea" a kind of strange dreamy type song, I saw em' live twice on this tour and the song works perfectly in that environment, not that it doesn't here it's just that in my opinion LIVE is where it really shines. I'm not gonna go through every track with ya, cause at the end of the day it's just my opinion AND.....AND it's gonna be boring for me, and for you too. Colin Towns(Keyboards)is king on this release, which is a slight shame because some of the tracks could have benefited from more guitar from Mr Gers(who?)(Iron Maiden anyone?)"Caught in a trap" is a horrible track(hey it's my review, not yours!)"Long gone" is pleasant enough, "Driving me wild" has the weirdest piano/keyboard solo i'd heard for quite a while, Colin Towns co wrote most of this record and deserves some credit where it's due. I believe in the past Mr Towns has brought to the table a rather large portion of classics for Mr Gillan to lend his silver throat to and in my opinion(and it's just an opinion)Mr Towns has delivered the goods yet again, maybe more so than the other Gillan records, because maybe, just maybe, the writing well was running a little dry with the other members of the band? "Demon driver" is superb, progressive rock at it's best, such imagination, it sounds just like a movie soundtrack to me, this is where Colin Towns shines brightest, GREAT STUFF.(OK,OK i've mentioned most of the tracks so I may as well carry on!)"Living a lie" is a lovely song and a fitting, back down to earth track to follow the "Demon driver" monster that had just finished as is "Your so right" another up beat pleasant song that bounces along quite nicely and leads us to a Stevie Wonder cover "Living for the city" which in my opinion (well everything else IS, in this review!)is superb, a great cover indeed, which leads us to a nice instrumental passage for 44 seconds of the "Demon driver" (reprise)and thus ends the "MAGIC" cd, unless you have the extra tracks of course which include "Breaking chains,Fiji,Purple sky,South Africa,John,South Africa(12"version) Helter skelter, and Smokestack lightning all of which are good tracks but hardly classic Gillan tracks. The production on this "MAGIC" CD is a little weak, as is most of the Gillan back catalogue and a damn shame too, but I've always loved this odd band and they will always have a place in my rockin' heart. In my opinion (yeah, again!)Mr Universe is the best Gillan record ever released, but you could do a lot worse than this one.