Sagacity Double CD
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With SAGA’s new album “Sagacity”, the Canadian progressive rockers manage to keep their signature sound alive with a touch of modernity. Or as Michael Sadler puts it: “For me this album marks a return to many of the signature elements that put Saga on the map at the onset of the band’s career, while maintaining a firm grip on the here and now. The balance between past, present and future is the key and I think that’s what we’ve managed to achieve. Quite simply, this is SAGA...2014!“ He certainly got it right. “Sagacity” does neither lack the striking guitar riffs which go hand in hand with the extensive keyboard arrangement nor Michael Sadler’s characteristic voice. SAGA welcomes you with a familiarity and an album full of progressive rock anthems. Sagacity – the English expression which in other words means wisdom and cleverness – pun intended – has always been a huge part of the band philosophy. SAGAhas gotten wiser over the years which shows in their thoughtful, multileveled lyrics. They have gotten smarter with their music arrangements, always leaving the listener amazed with their creativity and inventiveness. Their richness of ideas reflects on the typical but always newly sounding keyboard sounds as well as in its striking melodies. On top of it, it’s Michael Sadler’s distinctive voice which molds the sound of SAGA, and he does so in an extremely good way. The special edition includes a bonus CD - “Saga Hits” - including nine live recordings from an energetic performance at the SWR1 Rockarena festival in 2013. Ranging from one classic like “The Cross” to another one like “On The Loose”, the bonus CD surely proves why SAGAare still going strong. There is just one thing left to say: welcome to SAGA 2014!
Top Customer Reviews
- Saga City - The Album , Superb, if you prefer the slighly more cerebral style of Saga then this is for you, lots of tempo changes , songwriting seems more focussed than last time out and a superb production - 5/5
- Greatest Hits live cd - fairly well recorded especially as it is just a bonus cd rather than a stand alone release, although you could argue quite how much more saga live material anyone needs following recent releases. 4/5
- Packaging , The booklet is superb and as good as you get for this type of release - All album lyrics and some up to date band/ individual photos . My complaint however is with the gatefold digipack. The card is very poor quality and the opening for the booklet and the album is such a loose fit the contents just fall out onto the floor ever time i pick up the item and fail to keep it level. A minor gripe considering my overall pleasure with this album but worth a mention - In summary 5 stars for the music and the booklet less one star for the slightly underwhelming digipack
Songwriting is also quite laid back but it is still very focused:- thankfully. There is an evident progression and change to their approach that I think could be a little divisive; the usual energised Saga flare is slightly reigned-in abit for a more "slow boat experience". An overall lower reliance on tight malchanoly, but a scale tipper for atmosphere and thought provoking ness is ultimately prevailant. There is still a few rockers present, but noticibly fewer than normal:- the spirit and feel of the disc a convincingly inspiring and settling one.
Typically, I prefer the differentness of "Go with the flow", and the rock fests of "Wake up & Don't forget to breathe". But I really enjoyed my listen to this one, it did give me a kind of a modern "Full Circle" feel, and I feel it's release will go down as a complimentary one to the bands great career. I would definitely recommend you buy the standard jewel case over the flimsy new digipack, as the packaging is a cardboard cut out gatefold, which stinks of cost saving and lack of thought with regards to presentation and practicality.
So buy this for the live album then go and buy their first three, you'll not be disappointed.
I remember their first headline gig in the UK at the Lyceum (following those 3 nights at Hammersmith supporting Styx) where barely 100 people turned up expecting to hear a RUSH Mark2. Clearly they are not, and never have been that sort of band, but they knocked me off my feet.
Sophisticated, thoughtful progressive pomp rock with loads of keyboards and searing guitar are what SAGA are all about.
So what's missing this time around? Well I could quibble about the mix. Jim Gilmour's keyboards take a backseat here. Too many tracks end abruptly without being developed fully. There's certainly no 'Don't be Late' here. Michael Sadler's vocals sore as ever and there are many of the usual Saga trademarks, but many of the ideas seem muddled and just don't work for me. Ultimately it's the quality of the writing and the songs are just not up to the usual standard. I was waiting to be knocked off my feet with some great catchy hooks, but they just don't arrive.
The additional live CD from last year's rock festival in Sweden is interesting (if you go for the 2-CD version), but SAGA have released better live material.
It pains me to be so negative but every band is entitled to a mediocre release once in a while. It doesn't make them a poor band.
If you want to dip your feet into Saga for the first time, go for one of the compilations. If you are familiar with their material, tread carefully with this one!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Saga are one of my favourite prog rock bands and Sagacity certainly doesn't disappoint, the live cd is great as i have never had the pleasure of seeing them live long may they... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Robert Clive Little
Michael Sadler's return to Saga in 2011 was musically signed and sealed with 20/20 the following year. Read morePublished 21 months ago by R. Muir
Sadler back at the mike. What can I say. Another good album by Saga.Published 21 months ago by Mr Frank R Elson
This is a really really good Saga album. I'll admit its not their best, but its far away from being their worst. Read morePublished 23 months ago by The Doctor
Back to the good old days, great music from the band. Best album in years & bonus CD great live music. Rock on guys.Published 23 months ago by ROBERT FIELD
I buy everything from Saga, and I buy this too!
Listing to an older Saga and buy that!