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Saga - 2007 10,000 Days




ARTIST: Saga
ALBUM: 10,000 Days
LABEL: SPV
SERIAL: SPV 79642CD
YEAR: 2007

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Michael Sadler - vocals, keyboards * Ian Crichton - guitars * Jim Crichton - bass, keyboards * Jim Gilmour - keyboards, vocals * Brian Doerner - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Lifeline * 02 Book Of Lies * 03 Sideways * 04 Can't You See Me Now * 05 Corkentellis (Instr) * 06 More Than I Deserve * 07 Sound Advice * 08 10,000 Days * 09 It Never Ends

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.saga-world.com


Background
Saga continue their run on InsideOut/SPV with a new album in 2007 '10,000 Days'. It follows on the heels of last years effort 'Trust'. A good album, but from my ears '10,000 Days' is much much better. Seems the band decided to give a fitting performance in time for the impending departure of band stalwart Michael Sadler, who has publicly announced his retirement from the band at year end (2007). For Michael, living in Los Angeles and away from the Canadian origins of the band makes things slightly disconnected when it comes to keeping a band like Saga together. A credit to them that they have released a very good set of tunes which takes us back deeper into their musical history than they would care to admit. Great for long time fans, and proves that good music true to the ideals of melodic rock/progressive rock that crested the wave of popularity back then - still has relevance in the here and now.


The Songs
Saga open their account with 'Lifeline'. An awkward opener which may not appeal to die-hard fans but it gives the album an uptempo vibe from the outset. The second track is much better. 'Book Of Lies' takes us back to the era of 'Silent Knight'. One listen and you'll hear the comparison is fully warranted. From the mega time changes to the guitar and synth plucks and drum rolls.. it's like history is being repeated. The eastern/Asian styled introduction on 'Sideways' gives way to some timeless Saga prog rock, stuff of olde that is obviously still to the forefront of their compositions twenty plus years on. 'Can't You See Me Now' negotiates a shuffle back-beat with some clever passages that suggest a few digs at their extensive back catalogue. The instrumental 'Corkentellis' is a stand-out track. The swirling mixture of instruments played with class and skill is a testament to all their years together. Simply put, in among the typical Saga pomp bombast, there are some gorgeous songs here. Check out the lush arrangement of 'More Than I Deserve' - a relaxing piece that swims in ambient melody. For me, this is one of the albums highlights. The prog folk leanings of the title track '10,000 Days' is another example. Simple structure, subtle layers of synths below the acoustic wash, added to that a rich vocal chorus. Nice track indeed!


In Summary
For me, this is one of the better Saga albums in recent years. Four of these tracks will ensure this CD sits high in the year-end poll. Shame that Michael Sadler is moving on, but it's been a long road for him - time to kick back with the family and do some other things in life. I'm sure he'll be spoilt for choice - talented chap that he is. Whether this becomes the last Saga album remains to be seen. It can't be denied, Sadler certainly gave the band a lot of energy and momentum, and his loss may prove to be the straw that breaks the camels back. We shall await with interest what Saga intends doing from 2008 onwards. Watch this space.


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Comments

#1 | DEMONAOR on December 02 2007 06:27:37
Great albumclap
#2 | Nick C on December 04 2007 22:18:17
Yeah, this is an exceptional album by a band that has consistently high standards. It's a hell of a way for Mr. Sadler to bow out on. I ABSOLUTELY love the title track too with it's hint of nostalgia with regards the bands history, possibly tinged with a little regret over Michael's departure?? Maybe.
#3 | Jez on June 13 2008 03:10:08
One thing Saga have always been relied upon is to produce consistency & quality over the course of 17 studio albums. This, their 18th, is no different & I would go as far to say as this is probably their best since 'Behaviour' in '85. Songs, musicianship and production all top notch and a fabulous way for Michael Sadler to bow out. How they replace him is anyone's guess, but I will be intrigued to see who they choose to fill his mighty shoes? The end of an era and a magnificent one at that.
#4 | gdazegod on June 13 2008 03:53:54
They've chosen Rob Moratti - from Final Frontier. Jez, I thought you would've known that already..

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