- 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)
Breath Of Life Extra tracks, Limited Edition
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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
Top Customer Reviews
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.
So, thanks to the band for a great concert and a great new album.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Found the band Magnum in the 80's, following them ever since. Another excellent album from a long-standing favourite of mine.Published on 27 April 2014 by FRE
Bought for a die hard Magnum fan. Loves playing this super loud. He would highly recommend this for rock/metal fans.Published on 8 Jan. 2013 by BullyFee
Ok, title maybe abit harsh, but from someone who loved earlier Magnum stuff I can't really recommend this. Read morePublished on 30 Sept. 2012 by midnightrider
"Today in the news" was the first phrase that came to me from my daughter when I started to hear this album back in 2002. Read morePublished on 23 Aug. 2009 by A. David Garza Marin
For the first few plays this did very little for me but then the melodies started to ingrain themselves and I am now appreciating this album more each time I play it. Read morePublished on 19 May 2007 by Adamski
Breath Of Life isn't about the music. It's about the return of one of the U.K.'s best loved melodic rock outfits. Ok, it's not the classic lineup. Read morePublished on 9 Nov. 2006 by Stotty
This is a great comeback album. Magnum know how to produce top quality rock with a soul. They have style, wit and ability beyond most others in the genre. Read morePublished on 12 Jan. 2003 by JustACustomer
Like so many reviewers I was a big fan of them in the eighties and early ninties, buying all Bob Catleys, hard rain, etc, etc, so when the band got back together I was expecting... Read morePublished on 7 Dec. 2002 by P. S. Co-head
Having been a big Magnum fan in the 80's, I was really looking forward to this comeback album. When I first played it, my reactions were something like this: Promising start! Read morePublished on 14 Sept. 2002 by Frankie Nicholas