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Breath Of Life Extra tracks, Limited Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Amazon's Magnum Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 Aug. 2010)
  • Limited Edition edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Limited Edition
  • Label: Steamhammer
  • ASIN: B00005Y2K1
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 99,692 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Cry
  2. This Heart
  3. Everday
  4. Still
  5. Dream About You
  6. Breath Of Life
  7. After The Rain
  8. That Holy Touch
  9. Let Somebody In
  10. The Face Of An Enemy
  11. Just Like January
  12. Night After Night

Product Description

Breath Of Life opens so weakly you immediately wonder what prompted Magnum to re-enter the studio after an eight-year silence. After a predictably portentous intro, "Cry" transforms into a minimal Billy-Squier-style stomp, then mellows into a big ballad, then it's a Prog workout--it's as if the band have been away so long they're throwing everything at the wall, hoping that something will stick. Thankfully, some self-discipline is swiftly introduced. Second track, "This Heart", with its celebratory keyboards, is grand pop-rock of the type that gave Magnum a Top Five album and three Top 30 singles in the late 1980s. Songwriter and guitarist Tony Clarkin was always at his best when penning stirring rock epics tinged with melancholy folk (like a heavy metal Strawbs) and that tradition continues here. Everyday has that sense of drama and high romance, as does "Just Like". Best of all are the power ballad "Dream About You" (a track demanding a David Coverdale cover) and the surprising "That Holy Touch", which starts as a hip-swinging rocker then bursts into a classic Magnum chorus, singer Bob Catley delivering a powerful, sweet and heavily overlaid "I'm just a speck on this broken-down highway". Breath Of Life will win few new converts, but will absolutely delight any long-standing admirers. --Dominic Wills

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
It's been a long wait since Magnum's last album, 1994's Rock Art. Although guitarist and songwriter has been busy with 2 Hard Rain albums and vocalist Bob Catley releasing 3 of his own solo album, they have not lived up to the sheer class of Magnum.
Is it any good? It's classic, full of classy hooks and great choruses. The album showcases Clarkin's superb and criminally underrated songwriting ability and Catleys amazing Rock vocals. Long time keyboard player Mark Stanway is still in the band and as always plays a great part in the bands sound.
Standout tracks for me are, "Everyday", which is a classic Magnum rock number with a great chorus.
"Dream about you", a Rock ballad of the very finest.
And "That Holy touch" a great funky rock number.
What I'm trying to say is buy this album it's a great Rock album by a band that have never been as successful as they should have been.
For Magnum fans don't expect "Wings of Heaven 2", it's more in the vain of "Sleepwalking" and "Rock Art."
Still great though.
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Format: Audio CD
Considering that I am a straight down the line early to mid Magnum is best freak plenty of people are going to be surprised when I say that Breath of Life is almost my favourite ever Magnum album! It seems that a lot of Magnum fans are struggling with various aspects of the reborn band and I can certainly understand some of the difficulties that are being experienced in those dark, sound filled rooms. Yes, the production is puzzlingly poor in places and yes, some of the drums are pale shadows of reality. However I urge everyone who places this CD into a player to plug themselves into the soul rather than the surface of this record. Once you do, I can almost guarantee that your jaw will drop in recognition of an absent genius returned. Again let me state my corner - to me, Magnum equals Les Morts Dansant, Soldier of the Line, So Cold the Night, Wild Swan... and I think Breath of Life captures the spirit that breathed within the walls of those and many other Magnum anthems. The riff that pins Face of an Enemy down in sweet merciless grandeur rivals the dance of the Vigilante. The emotion in Bob's voice as he begs one and all to Let Somebody In wrenches that very same gasp from the being that was uttered when the Sacred Hour was first spent. The return of Mark Stanway reminds us of the true joy of a beautiful melody played with fervent talent and genuine pleasure. Breath of Life gives to us, in my honest opinion, some of the most 'Magnum' music of all time. Bob's voice is more than ever like that last shot of fiery cognac from the dusty yet shining bottle that has been on the shelf for just the right number of echoing years. Tony's guitar playing is among the most emotive he has ever laid down in a studio. And the songs themselves drip with class, both instrumentally and lyrically. Without a doubt this is Tony's best set of songs since Wings of Heaven and as time tests them they may well measure up to the very best. Long may this Breath of Life blow.
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Format: Audio CD
I have been waiting for a new Magnum album for 10 years and waiting to see them live for 20, so it was a real pleasure to be able to fulfil both ambitions within 24 hours. I saw the band at the University of East Anglia in Norwich on December 9 and they lived up to my expectations completely. The next night I flew back to Abu Dhabi and, having been kept waiting in line for an hour, just had time to race for the gate. On the way, I saw a CD shop, dashed in - and lo and behold there was the new album in a slipcase with three extra live tracks. I played it as soon as I got home. On first listening I was a little disappointed, but it has grown on me. I think some of the heavier tracks are forgettable, but the powerful ballads and outbreaks of pomp glory are all there. "Still" is my favourite track.
So, thanks to the band for a great concert and a great new album.
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Format: Audio CD
The question is simple. Will this album satisfy the Magnum faithful who have waited patiently since 1994's excellent "Rock Art" for some new Magnum music. The answer is not so clear cut.
Magnum's problem is the same as any band that have been around a few years. Their audience splits between those that are happy to see some growth and development of style (in truth probably the minority) and those who expect the band to stick to a tried and tested formula. This record, in keeping with latter releases, has a foot in both camps and therefore may not totally satisfy either.
Superb songs such as "Everyday", "Just Like January" the title track and, to a lesser extent, "Night After Night" are arm waving, big chorus style epics that us Magnum-heads love. The punchy pop sensibility of "Still" is also not unlike "classic" Magnum and is a joy to behold.
What is left is probably where the controversy starts, dividing as it does into ballads and some pretty slamming, often quite funky, heavy rock.
For me the ballads are the weak point. They are not terrible, but they simply don't come close to the high water marks of the past
Although some of them are a bit "disjointed", the hard edged stuff is really growing on me. But the problem is that while many of the Magnum hallmarks are present, there is a feeling that many of these tracks (the ballads included) would be just as at home on a "Hard Rain" record. Not that Hard Rain were at all bad - just that they were not Magnum. To me it feels like just enough has been done to turn the "Magnumometer" to a setting that Bob Catley is happy with and it remains to be seen whether he is suffiently satisfied to make this a permanent reunion.
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