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3.9 out of 5 stars
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 20 September 2013
I'll come out and say it - I'm a BIG fan of this band and have watched them grow, change and mature over a number of years. Unusually for a modest band, there's been a bit of hype around their latest release Some are saying its their best yest. Well, thats a always a matter of opnion and they havent topped Home Homefor me - but this does run a close 2nd.

This band is packed with musical talent built around the core of mastermind Rob Reed, Chris Fry (guitar viruoso) and the wonderful voice of Tina Booth. (They are supplemented live by the Godsticks rhythm section, but bass and drum duties fall to Mr Reed and Andy Edwards respectively on this outing.) Cutting to the chase, this is a triumph for Tina Booth who's vocals have rarely sounded so pure and strong. Her finest moment, for me, comes with Pearl, a tribute to Janis Joplin, but she is consistently excellent throughout all 6 songs. Chris Fry's solo on this track really is spine-tingling - I can never get enough of his playing. Rob Reed's keys are there adding a lush organ sound or more obviously a solo run from the synthesiser - well this is prog! its good to hear Andy Ewards back pounding the skins again and an excellent pick by RR.

Go on - treat yourself to a little piece of prog heaven!
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on 12 December 2013
only found my way into Magenta recently post the Kompendium album produced by Rob Reid This is much more prog edged with guitar to the fore which I like and a good female singer.Would recommend to fans of the newer breed of prog bands but still which have a nod tho the more traditional bands of the past
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on 24 February 2016
Another cracking Magenta album and the 6th album that contains 6 songs that each relate to 6 famous artists who all died at the early age of 27. Hence the title of the album here being called The Twenty Seven Club. Maybe there is a message in those numbers somewhere, thou never the less it's another well crafted album masterminded by none other than the genius Robert Reed.

Though the album takes in the short lives of our past heroes with each song, it's perhaps not exactly a concept album as each track is designated for each artist individually, and Rob left his brother Steve to pen the lyrics for each road they travelled down, and I have to say he did quite a grand job of it. But with albums main material in the music department being in more the form of prog rock, it does not exactly fit in with our dead heroes, and no matter how Christina Booth tries to portray the fine lyrics here, they are not exactly going to say what they was trying to perceive in the first place musically, thou no disrespect to Christina for trying, who really has done a superb job.

The album kicks off with some real great driving power and force with it's opening track "The Lizard King" to which the words are based around the life of Jim Morrison of the Doors fame. The title is well apt I have to say and it's certainly one of the contenders for the best track on the album.

Track 2 "Ladybird Blues" is very well aptly entitled for the life of Jimi Hendrix thou in reality you would think this was the group Yes and far from the world of Jimi's music at all. Straight from it's opening harmonies and even Chris Fry's guitar lines and licks who does a bang on job I have to say, and sounds exactly like Steve Howe of Yes. This one is my personal fave of the albums material here. The progression is purely fantastic and says everything about how good the band Yes used to be back in their heyday in the magic decade of the 70's.

"Pearl" follows this and is a beautiful pop ballad of a song. This one portrays the life of Janis Joplin and is perhaps odd in the sense that it's stuck here amongst the other 5 tracks being more in the way of prog rock. Some prog rockers may even slant it, but for me personally it's perhaps more fitting with the lyrics wrote for these songs in the first place, even if it's not exactly the sort of material Janis did herself. It really is a gorgeous song, and for those who are not so much into prog rock, this would certainly be more to their liking and possibly their fave of the album.

Track 4 "Stoned" takes on the life of Brian Jones of Rolling Stones fame, and once again this one opens up with Yes harmonies, bass and guitar lines, and one really as to wonder if they brought a Magenta album here or a yes album. But hey dude I love early Yes and this entirely rocks my boat 100% with what Reed as done here. He is a mastermind at reworking and reshaping other peoples melodies to suit his own style and make them very much his own at that.

The life of Kurt Cobain of the band Nirvana is portrayed next with track 5 "The Gift". This one is the shortest track on the album and is pretty much more orchestral based and contains some lovely acoustic guitar along its path too. I must admit I am not a fan of orchestration done on keyboards and very much prefer the real thing. Though understandably that would cost a fortune, and given the fact that prog rock gets very little recognition at all, it would most likely cost more than what what this album would even make back in revenue. But Mr. Reed has done a grand job of it regardless, but for me this one is not really that bad, but my least fave of the material upon this album.

The album ends off very well with "The Devil At The Crossroads" to which the lyrics are dedicated to the life of the great late blues legend Robert Johnson. Once again the feel of the song here is very much Yes based but done in Reeds great own style, and I love the touches at the end with the slide guitar from Fry which is perhaps at least lending something back to Johnson regarding the music. It's a really superb song to put an end to a great album.

Overall the album Twenty Seven Club by Magenta is a truly great album. As well as those I have already mentioned Andy Edwards plays drums throughout the album and does a bang on job along with the other great musicians here. The fact that you also get a DVD with a really super 5.1 mix of the album, and a near enough 2 hour documentary showing how the album was made, plus a promo video of "The Lizard King" adds superb value to what you're getting here for the bucks. Speaking of bucks I highly recommend you get it from Robert Reeds website and save yourself some major bucks in relation to the price your paying here.

The album itself is well worthy of my 4 stars here and no doubt the fact that it comes with a bonus DVD makes it worth 5 stars in terms of value and I am so glad to see Robert Reed taking the time to do 5.1 mixes to which I love and am a surround freak. I would love to see him do 5.1 mixes of Magenta's first album to which to me is class and would be well worthy of doing that with it.
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on 10 November 2013
If there's a better pure Prog album this year, I've yet to hear it.
There are elements here that are very YES influenced. In fact if YES themselves recorded this album it would be regarded as a 'return to form' and something of a classic.

This has that feel of 70's 80's prog but sounds fresh and up to date at the same time. You can tell that a lot of time & love has gone into crafting this CD. Musically & lyrically it hardly puts a foot wrong. I've only got into this band in recent years and it seems to me that the only thing that has stopped them moving to the next level, is a label to promote them 'big-time'. Let's hope this does it for them.
Highly recommended. 4.5 Stars
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on 21 December 2014
I'm surprised this hasn't got better reviews. I bought the CD when they played at the Borderline, one of the best gigs I have been to. It took a few listens for some of the tracks to grow on me, but it is now a firm favourite. Pearl is a superb track in particular. Definitely better than Chameleon and bears comparison with Seven and Metamorphosis. Recmended!
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on 16 July 2015
I like the way Magenta go about making albums. Here, they decided they wanted to do a real 'prog' album and they chucked everything into doing just that. You can hear how much they enjoyed making it. The theme, whilst potentially depressing (artists who died aged 27) actually allows a real celebration of their lives, and really helps the album hang together as a cohesive whole. There's no point in me celebrating the individual performances as other's have done this in their reviews, other than to echo the comment that the band hardly put a foot wrong. All that's left to say is that this will probably up there with my top 3 Magenta albums.
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on 30 January 2015
I've only discovered Magenta in the last few months - normal diet is Marillion, esp Hogarth era, Steven Wilson etc. This album is very strong, to my ears. I don't own other Magenta albums, so can't comment on whether this is a return to form or otherwise. But like all the best prog albums, you wont 'get' this on the first few listens. It takes patience. You'll hear early-Marillion Mark Kelly synths. You'll hear Rothery/Gilmour aching guitar that invokes incredible emotion. You'll hear a brilliant vocalist that personally I wish I'd discovered earlier (if you like Panic Room - and if you haven't heard them, you should! - then I think you'll like Christina Booth's voice). And good songs.

One last reflection: when I first heard the Lizard King (via the youtube video) I didn't like it all. I now think it is utterly brilliant, one of the best prog songs I've heard in years. And the single release is just the second half. The full song is brilliant.
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on 13 October 2014
Robert Reed is a genius. If you like prog rock I cannot see how you would not give this fantastic album 5 stars. In particular 'The Lizard King' is a spectacularly crafted piece of music that has become one of my favourite tracks of all time. Just brilliant !!
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on 11 March 2014
Why oh why does Rob Reed need to make all these obvious references to all his influences (if not even citing them)?! Same as with most of Magenta's records; the music suggests great potential, but all the borrowed bits and sounds pretty much ruin it.
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on 18 February 2014
Some good strong songs here. Sounds similar to previous material though less 'gothic' than Metamorphosis was. The material is not quite as good as previous early albums though. Never-the-less a splendid return to form.
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