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4.0 out of 5 stars
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4.0 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 24 March 2004
The first thing that inevitably springs to mind when thinking of Toploader is, of course, Dancing In The Moonlight, the superb cover which catapulted them into stardom thanks to a TV ad. People often forget the epic Achilles Heel, which reached number eight in the singles chart, and some may have missed out on Toploader’s excellent and accomplished debut Onka’s Big Moka. If you did, I would recommend that above this second offering.
Here, we have a solid enough album but the stand-out tracks necessary for it to become truly accepted as a quality record are not on show. Time Of My Life was the first single, and is probably the most infectious song, but compared to their previous hits, it pales. With time, there is no doubt that the album will grow on you until you really do appreciate it, but as guitarist Dan Hipgrave has said, while they aren’t there yet, the talent is there to make a classic album in the future.
It’s good, but it’s not great.
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on 3 September 2002
When this album was released i really didnt know alot about Toploader as i was more used to listening to the stereophonics and jamiroqui, and the only tune i really knew of theirs was (dancing in the moonlight) so i really didnt know what to expect from this album. I work in a music store so i listen to music every single day and decided to listen this album and i was very impressed. I really enjoyed it for so many reasons, firstly because it sounds fresh and the tunes are uplifting and happy (where as most british rock/indie bands seem to be downbeat). The tracks that stand out for me are Only Desire, which i thought was brilliant, Midas Touch which has a great big band feel to it, and never forgotten which really shows some great song writing. A real hidden gem in the charts and one you should go and have a listen too, i really loved it!
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on 21 October 2002
Since Toploader's debut album "Onka's Big Monka", they have been providing an alternative to the rather depressing rock music found so widely on the market. "The Magic Hotel" is no disappointment if you want an upliffting album that will have you singing along in no time at all! With track titles such as "Time of my life", "Some kind of wondeful" and "Cloud 9" you get the impression that this album will be making you smile. "Magic Hotel" has hardly been out of my CD player since I bought it, and it has also inspired me to go and see Toploader on tour this year! In my opinion this album is just as good as "Onka" if not better, and is an absolute must for any Toploader fan! Enjoy it!
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on 23 August 2002
If you like their old album then you'd probably like this one. However, alought there are good songs like " lady let me shine " and "cloud 9 " there' s nothing nearly as good as "achillies heel" and "only for a while ". If you are already a fan then buy it. If you are not then i think a safer route would be to buy there old album, "onka's big mocha" as "the magic hotel" doesnt have a great first impression for newcommers.
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on 26 August 2002
I have listened to this album and in my opinion, the first 4 stars i have allocated to this review would be for the incentive it gives me to press the repeat button on the CD Player particularly on tracks such as "Cloud Nine" and "Lady let Me Shine". the album shows great evidence of slow tempo'd verses and powerful choruses that scream "turn it up" Although, i would say that there is a lack of consistency in the style of music that so tempted me to buy the CD after hearing the afor mentioned tracks...but in conclusion, its a credit to the group, and if your not afraid of the variety of soft rock it has to offer, its definitely worth a look!
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on 6 January 2004
Magic hotel does not give as good a first impression as Onka's Big Monka. I gave it a chance to grow on me with a few listens (as I had to do with some now much loved Bon Jovi albums) and I find its in the CD player at least as often as "Onka" now. It is a great album, Top Loader fans will love it as I do, if you are new to Top Loader go for Onka's Big Monka first.
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on 30 October 2002
Toploader's debut, the novelly named "Onka's Big Moka", was a beautiful medley of feel-good tunes, laced with ballads that had a real poetic side to them, evoking an irrepressible tapping of the feet, or a conversely reflective stare through the nearest window. Piano-driven songs are making a comeback, and Toploader were there as one of the first, making their mark and selling well over a million records.
And then 3 years passed. They're back. The piano's still there. The wonderfully gravelly vocals of Joe Washbourne are all present and correct, and one of the riffs sounds a little bit like Achilles Heel. But...it's different. I listened to it the first time, wondering what the hell had gone wrong - why were so many of the tracks so brimming with instruments; where was the new Dancing in the Moonlight?
Then I listened to it again. And discovered that it's perfectly possible for a band to go in a slightly new direction from their already certifiably excellent one, and still come out on top. Whether the rest of the music-listening world agrees with me is yet to be seen. However, if you disregard this album because it's a bit different to "Onka's Big Moka", you're missing one of the most addictive, well-written LPs of the year. Apart from the single "Time of my Life", which is purely in for the sake of a feel-good summer tune, the album is filled with catchy tunes and interesting lyrics. The tracks sound much less like a small 5 person band, and more like a full orchestra (though obviously not classically so), and this gives the music a fullness, and a surrounding effect that was lacking in its predecessor. The songs wrap around you, and the soaring voice of Washbourne never fails to make you listen and attempt to discover exactly what he was thinking about whilst writing the songs.
"Stupid Games" is one of the catchiest bits of song writing I've heard in a very long time, whilst the ballads of "Promised Tide" and "The Midas Touch" are both sweet and haunting in equal measures. Toploader has been, perhaps somewhat unfairly, branded as an always feel-good band; here they prove they can temper the optimistic clap-alongs (such as the second single, "Some Kind Of Wonderful") with regretful, laconic tunes that demand relistening to again and again, as the meaning of each becomes clearer each time.
Okay, now I've waxed lyrical, go and buy this album. Anyone claiming it's lacking in some way, or just not up to their debut is, in my opinion, mistaken. But the fact that this is great music is not a matter for debate; claiming otherwise is not a matter of opinion: it's just plain wrong.
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on 28 August 2002
Having bought Toplaoder's 'Onka's Big Moka' a few years back, I was expecting great things from 'Magic Hotel'. And this really lives up to expectations. It's an absolutely stonking album that you can listen to again and again.
Opening with the fantastic new single 'Time of my life', 'Magic Hotel' boasts lots of good quality, intelligent songs, including 'Stupid Games' that smacks of an Elton John style piano intro, and the more sedate 'Promised Tide'. There are no fillers on this album, just a great range of well constructed tracks.
But by far my favourite track on this album is the rockin' 'Some kind of wonderful'.... crank it up and blow your speakers on the bass.......
For anyone who loved the 'Onka' as much as I did, this is a must have. Absolutely fantastic.
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on 31 August 2002
Excited at the prospect of Toploaders second CD I was disappointed with this release. Whilst I appreciate that artists will draw their inspiration from others, it is disappointing to see that Toploader are so obvious. On first listen the overtones of the Beatles - Twist and Shout and The Animals - House of the Rising Sun to name but two, gave me the impression that prehaps they had not given themselves enough time between albums.
It was such a shame as Onka's Big Mocha was such an impressive album. The strength of Onka has failed to be continued through into their second album. I only hope that their next release will see them return to their roots.
Come on guy's you can do better than this!
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on 16 February 2015
Brought this for my Dad, who loved it
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