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Magnum - Rock Art  CD (album) cover




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2.61 | 26 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars Is this art?

Magnum's career is an uneven one, they have made several good albums, some less good albums and some really weak ones. Rock Art is certainly not among the weaker ones, but it is also not among their best albums. One problem with Magnum was that after a string of good albums in the late 70's/early 80's the band seemed to loose track of who they wanted to be and what they wanted to sound like. 1988's Wings Of Heaven was a surprisingly solid album in an otherwise lacklustre and directionless output during the latter half of the 80's and early 90's. Albums like Vigilante and Goodnight L.A. (even though they are quite different from each other, they have that in common that they are very weak albums) left me wondering whether to give up on the band forever. The previous Sleepwalking was not an enormous improvement by any means, but at least it re-established the classic Magnum sound in some sense. Rock Art continues in this tradition of improvement and is the band's best since Wings Of Heaven.

The sound of Rock Art is heavier than previous albums and the voice of Bob Catley is as strong and distinctive as ever. The band sounds more confident here and I think that they found their own identity again. This is not necessarily the kind of music that I want to hear but it feels like this is precisely the kind music Magnum wants to make. And that is important since people do best what they want to do rather than what other people want them to do. This time there is also no problem with the production. This album has a good sound.

The lyrics are often clichéd and too direct for my tastes. The very titles of some of the songs give them away don't they? 'We All Need To be Loved', 'Back In Your Arms Again' and 'Hard Hearted Woman' are titles that are pretty standard in Rock music. The lyrics are clearly one of the worst aspects of the music of Magnum. There are no real standout tracks on this album but it is more even and also more diverse than the previous couple of albums.

The instrumental attack is wider compared to earlier albums with acoustic and steel guitars and a wider keyboard pallet. There are also some slight Blues, Jazz and even World influences in some songs making for a slightly more interesting and varied album.

Recommended for fans of this band! Newcomers to Magnum would best start with another album, though.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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