Cast's 3rd album, Magic Hour was originally released in 1999. Despite reaching number 6 in the album charts the album fell away fairly quickly and never sold as well as the previous two. The musical climate was changing and Cast wasn't immune. This is such a shame as I think this is a fantastic album with superb production by Gil Norton. Overall, this album is just a nose in front of Mother Nature Calls for me (John Power shakes his head in disbelief!)
This issue is from Edsel (under licence from Universal) and comes in a robust hardback book style case, very smart and more durable than the standard fidgety Deluxe versions that Universal have recently issued. The full album and b-sides are here and all lyrics are included even for the b-sides which is a nice touch of detail. Even the various remixes of Beat Mama are included. A DVD is included containing a new interview with John Power, both promo videos and a solitary TOTP appearance. Like the previous release Disc 2 is filled with BBC sessions from 1999, already released on the Cast BBC Sessions CD. A cover of The Who's, The Seeker is here. This was originally released on the 2001 Substitute: Songs Of The Who tribute album and its good to tie it up as an extra. All Bright which was a cassette-only b-side (also a bonus track on the Japanese edition of the album) is also included.
The interviews for all 4 albums are great but by the time we get to Magic Hour, John is struggling to remember the tracks on the album. In fact the 2nd half of the album doesn't get mentioned! I suppose this shows John doesn't have the same affinity with some of these songs as he does for the first 2 albums. For me that's a shame as I really love this album. Although if it were me being interviewed the next day for my album reissues I'd have read over the track-listing the night before, so at least I remembered the songs! You're so laid back John, but that's why we love yer.
A good release and hopefully the album will gain a few more fans from this reissue. Its uplifting sunshine music, highly recommended to anyone especially people have never been into the band.
P.S. Edsel, please send John Power a copy so he knows what songs are on it. Cheers!
Really good Cd; I so enjoy this group can't believe I've only just discovered them now! Very strange having just bought this copy of Magic Hour now I've discovered I bought a copy of it in 2012 and must have put it away without listening to it !!
I bought this album for a mere £5. I have paid £15 for other albums which I no longer listen to. When I put on this album, depending on which track it is, it sparks off some kind of reaction, whether I end up in tears ( Alien, Magic Hour) or ready to party (Compared to You, Beat Mama, The feeling Remains). It is truly a classic album, as are all of Cast's albums. I feel deelpy saddened that some people are deprived of listening to a band as wonderful as Cast, because of the lack of recognition. Some people I know have not even heard of Cast and that is very sad. Still, they will always be truly amazing to me, I would thoroughly recommend this album, and the rest.
I've always been fond of this Liverpool formed indie-rock band, who chalked up an impressive string of hits in the UK singles chart between 1995 to 1999. Their first two studio albums are great favourites of mine, but their third, released in 1999 might just be their best to date.
'Magic Hour' is often like a heavenly dream to listen to, moving away slightly from the consistently upbeat Britpop flavour of their first two releases, and replacing it with a more much mature, soft-psychedelic and slightly spiritual sound, which The Verve were already doing so brilliantly. The lead single 'Beat Mama', which quickly peaked at no.9 is a positive, uplifting tune with a sing-along chorus, and the dreamy title track, the second single which deserved to rise much higher than it's peak position of no.28, is something of a lost gem, along with 'Alien', which is dripping in astral atmosphere.
The sound of this album generally runs at a slower pace than that of it's predecessors, but by no means is this a bad thing. These boys were experimenting and going for something a little different, which many of their contempories were doing as well. It was not a massive change by any means, and some of the tracks, especially the rocky 'Higher' and 'Chasing the Day' are reminiscent of the earlier stuff.
With an excellent lead vocalist and guitarist in John Power, Cast are a great band, and not that dissimilar to their fellow Liverpudlians the Beatles. If you enjoyed their debut 'All Change', and it's follow-up 'Mother Nature Calls', then you will feel like your in 'Magic Hour' with their third guitar-rock album.
This album took me a couple of listen's to get used to it but after that you found what true music sounded like. This is a great album and anyone who does not have this lost without it. This is what 21 century rock n roll will sound like. This album is amazing!
If you've just discovered Cast on their reformation then you need to buy this album, aswell as All Change. I personally never got round to buying this album when it originally came out and don't understand why because have always been a fan and knew some of the songs, but having just bought it can honestly say am not disappointed. In my opinion this is better than Mother Nature Calls and nearly as good as the aforementioned All Change. Standout tracks are Beat Mama and the title track Magic Hour but there is more to the album than that. Without going into it too much I'll just say that it is what you would expect from Cast, solid drums and guitars with all the melody you could want and it really hasn't aged much at all. Maybe I'm getting old but there's a lot of pap music around these days, so when you buy stuff like this that you missed the first time it's like having completely new music in your collection and more than makes up for the lack of decent stuff around today.
Cast - what can you say about them? A great singles band who have perhaps not received due credit when it comes to their long players. But Magic Hour deserves to be rated as one of the best albums of the 1990s. First single Beat Mama is rocky and catchy, and deservedly earned a place in the UK Top 10. From there, the album drifts through gorgeous ballads and rocky numbers until the wonderful closing track Hideaway and the hidden instrumental. The highlight for me is the unbelievably beautiful Alien, with a majestic string arrangement that perfectly complements the excellent vocals. John Power has surpassed himself in the writing of this album, and if you have ever liked any song by Cast, do not hesitate to buy this album. I promise you'll love it.
Cast's 3rd studio album, released in 1999, follows the winning formula of their previous studio albums i.e 'All Change' and 'Mother Nature Calls' without producing the strength in depth of either of those 2 projects. As ever, John Power is the songwriting force behind the band and he does have some pretty good ideas on display including the mid-paced, string-laden title track, the superb 'She Falls' which moves smoothly through the gears and features some of the finest guitar work on the LP, 'Alien', which is a lovely power ballad and, best of all, 'Burn The Lights', which is the most impressive and distinctive rock number featured. A slow grower - this is still worth buying at a nice, 2nd hand price.
This wholistic disc got more of a spin than both All Change and Mother Nature Calls during my mid-late teens, and i would still reach for this disc now to give me a full and mature Cast experience, with the lads firing on all creative cylinders. This really is a complete melodic rock album with enough edge to keep you disappearing into the kitchen. Groovy, hooky, melodic and experimental at times, the production depth here is a progression from previous works and this stands out for the band. Also and most importantly, Power's voice remains excellent, and you get the sense this is the album he wanted to create. Every track contributes something different to connect and engage with, though i often skip Beat Mama at track 1, a weak single compared to the previous Cast 'hits'. One of the most played albums in my 400+ album collection!