SAGA – Sagacity (2014)

SAGA - Sagacity (2014) full

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All praise to the person who came up with “Sagacity” as title for the brand new SAGA album to be released this June, 27th.
What to expect from the classy Canadians on their forthcoming album? – a little bit of everything really? Indeed.
Saga, truly your pizza and pie version of complexity and melody. Have another slice of Neo Prog-Rock or why not the Melodic Rock salad as your side-dish?
So many different levels and elements of music and each section just as important to their overall sound.

You have as always the distinctive and very excellent voice of Michael Sadler, the extensive keyboard attacks and arrangements, the classy guitar work, the interesting and groovy bass lines, and last but not least, the caged animal behind the kit.
You know, their characteristic sound.
However, they add a modern touch to their arrangements this time and it’s perhaps more of the complex album than previous effort. With this in mind not much can go wrong if you enjoy the Saga.
Here’s the quick track-by-track:

Opener, “Let It Slide”, reminiscent of Worlds Apart and Heads or Tales only groovier and featuring biting guitar work. “Vital Signs” show the artistic side of Saga in a short but stylized song. On “It Doesn’t Matter Who You Are”, Gilmour gets to shine with an excellent performance.
“Go With The Flow”, one of those song structures that Yes experimented with in the early seventies and Saga completed in 2014?

SAGA - Sagacity (2014) inside

“Press 9”, space prog met ’80s New Wave? It’s clearly one of their most quirky songs as of lately. Merely the atmospheric (spacey) keyboard in the background, the laid-back guitar work and those vocal harmonies.
“Wake Up”, completely different and aggressive in comparison to previous track. The chanting vocal line (Wake Up!) and the short number (2:34 min.) work as your… ehem, yeah, Wake Up call.

“Don’t Forget To Breathe”, based around Ian’s guitar line and riff, adds a rocking spice to the album, “The Further You Go”, mesmerizing… if you’re tired of listening to the commercially side of music.
“On My Way”, pull out some huge ’80s like arrangement and structure from their massive back catalogue without sounding too similar or samey. The keyboard/guitar interlude do the trick and it’s just a superb track.
“Luck”, the return of the synthesizers with an AORish feel and one of my favorites. The epic closing track, “I’ll Be”, acoustic guitar intro followed up with teardrop-like ebony and ivory work and the powerful and catchy refrain. Pay extra attention to Crichton’s perfect tone and solo here.

SAGA - Sagacity (2014) back cover

“Sagacity” is truly wonderful. Mature, stylized, elegant, rocking with needed to balance the Neo Prog melodic passages, and above all; truly great compositions.
With short, 12 song-format songs far from ordinary, Saga, after almost 40-year career shows to the world why still they are one of the greatest bands of the planet.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

01 – Let It Slide
02 – Vital Signs
03 – It Doesn’t Matter (Who You Are)
04 – Go With The Flow
05 – Press 9
06 – Wake Up
07 – Don’t Forget To Breathe
08 – The Further You Go
09 – On My Way
10 – No Two Sides
11 – Luck
12 – I’ll Be

Michael Sadler – Vocals
Ian Crichton – Guitar
Jim Crichton – Bass, Keyboards
Jim Gilmour – Keyboards, Vocals
Mike Thorne – Drums
Thanks to Urban Wally Wallstrom

Pre-Order:
www.nuclearblast.de/en/products/tontraeger/cd/cd/saga-saga-city.html
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