MAGNUM – Brand New Morning

MAGNUM - Brand New Morning


SPV Records
Release date: August 30, 2004

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Although Magnum have been around for quite a while, they really haven’t released that many albums. Their heyday contains their most commercial outings, like Wings Of Heaven from the glory 80s, but they failed to hit the big one with Goodnight LA in 1990 .

Singer Bob Catley has a a solo-career of his own, and keyboardist Mark Stanway has traveled around with the reincarnation of classic Whitesnake, alongside Bernie Marsden and Micky Moody, among others.

So then, Magnum is really guitarist Tony Clarkin’s band. Or, at least, has become his band. In 2004, Clarkin is the sole contributor to the band and Brand New Morning. He has written each of the 9 songs and even produced them all. And it is an “even” album which starts off with a strong title track.

But it gets a bit cheesy on “It’s Time To Get Together”. Another track, “The Blue & The Grey” is classic Magnum as we know them: pompous, adventurous, and exciting. The uptempo rocker “Immigrant Son” stands out as one of Brand New Morning’s strongest tracks.

Magnum doesn’t sound much different in 2004 than what we knew of them from before. Bob Catley’s voice is holding up to a pretty decent standard, and Tony Clarkin’s guitar sound sounds fat and powerful. There’s a great drum section as well, with pounding bass from Al Barrow alongside tight drums from Harry James.

In this particular genre, it’s difficult to obtain the AOR-standard by mixing the piano and guitar side by side, and to find the golden path between elements of adult pop and hard rock. Tony Clarkin succeeds to a certain level, although it seems the keyboards are a bit too loud at times.

Brand New Morning is not entirely killer, but it’s definitely worth investigating more so than Breath of Life, which was their first after their comeback. Magnum is finally reborn on attempt number two by finding the elements that founded the band’s platform all those years ago. As long as Tony Clarkin is still going strong, there’s gonna be a decent Magnum. Brand New Morning just about proves that.


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