SAGA – Network

SAGA - Network


Release date: September 20, 2004

User Review
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Saga survived the 90s pretty well, but it’s fair to say that the two albums before this one, House Of Cards and Marathon , were a bit under par from the Canadian Prog Rockers.

Nevertheless, Saga has shown a great ability of surviving and not giving up. And Network is a proud result of that; their best album since Pleasure & The Pain from 1997.

There is a new drummer on board, Christian Simpson, and it’s great to finally have a Saga-album with live drums on it. Steve Negus, as everyone knows, didn’t touch a real drumkit in all his years in Saga. Simpson’s drumming adds a lot of real and raw sound to it all, but maybe most important; the lack of energy on their recent albums is absolutely present on Network .

However, the drum tracks could have been produced more right-in-your-face , and the snare drum is mixed oddly distant and loose. No question about Mr. Simpson’s skills though, he adds an important dimension to Saga’s music.

The best songs are found early on this album. They start off great with the 6-minute piece “On The Air,” which shows that singer Michael Sadler and guitarist Ian Crichton still have what it takes. “Keep It Reel” and “Don’t Look Now” may very well be the heaviest Saga has ever had their hands on, and “I’m Back” has one of the strongest choruses these guys have produced in years.

The same can be said with their slow songs, and “Outside Looking In” and “If It Were You” are two great songs that shows the softer side of Saga, and helps to conclude that Saga has made an album of great range and quality.

Let’s hope they will include a sufficient amount of new songs in their live set this Autumn, as they are embarking on a European tour, starting in London in late October. The last tours have included very few new songs, but this is the time to put “On The Air,” “Keep It Real,” and “I’m Back” in amongst “Humble Stance,” “Don’t Be Late,” “The Flyer,” and other great Saga-moments.


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