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Magnum Brand New Morning SPV
· Produced By: Tony Clarkin

· Running Time: 55.41

· Release Date: August 30

· Released: EU

· Musical Style: Melodic Hard Rock

· Links: Magnum
87%
Songs: 90%
Sound: 75%
Magnum are back and heading back towards their best work with an album that erases the disappointment of Breath Of Life. This is a tighter record and sounds like a proper band record and overall gives the impression of a far more cohesive body of work than its seemingly over-programmed predecessor.
This is Magnum's second album post-reunion, albeit with a slightly different line up. This album sees the guys getting back into the groove and getting more comfortable with the new line-up, which now features Thunder drummer Harry James.
It also sees songwriter Tony Clarkin more focused on what the traditional sound of Magnum really is and he delivers some great new songs.
This is a far more guitar driven album and ranks alongside Goodnight LA and Rock Art for its aggression.
The downside is that the production is quite rough. I'm not overly into the whole guitar sound employed. There is a certain muddy tone to the whole album. It's certainly not as crisp and clear as such gems as Sleepwalking or Wings Of Heaven. Comparisons could be made to a similar tone on Goodnight LA.
Additionally, the pace of the album is a little one dimensional. The tracks are all generally mid-paced, with only a couple of songs really breaking out into a sweat. The band could also have used a couple of extra impact choruses.
Those points made, Brand New Morning is still a fine album and one that I think will please just about all new and long time Magnum fans.
Bob Catley is in his usual immaculate vocal form, Tony Clarkin rocks, and the rhythm section of Al Barrow and new drummer Harry James really set up the band. Needless to say, Mark Stanway also provides an essential ingredient, with his piano and organ really filling the band's sound.
Track By Track:
Brand New Morning features a typically grand intro, with the guitar tone of the album quickly set. The band set out to rock and the very first track does than in fine style, with a good chorus to sing along to.
It's Time To Come Together is one of the best tracks. This sees one of the few tracks that Mark Stanways' piano is given feature spot. It's an uptempo, feel good rocker with some fine piano and a crunchy guitar fuelled chorus. Bob Catley sounds great and the added layers around his voice is trademark Magnum. Will be a good track to hear live.
We All Run is a dark and heavy track, with a real moody presence. The verse lightens up, which gives the memorable chorus further impact.
The Blue And The Grey is another melancholy track and gives further personality to the mood of the whole album. The chorus picks up the pace a little of this dark and haunting rock ballad.
I'd Breathe For You lifts the tempo again, but not past the mid-tempo fare of the album in general. A slow enjoyable verse that features a strong Catley vocal leads into a moody chorus, with Stanway's piano again playing a prominent role. The track gets more intense and almost orchestral towards the end.
From the outset, The Last Goodbye smolders along until bursting to life during the chorus, which really lifts the spirit and the tempo of the album. A feel good anthem, shrouded in mood and mystique. Only Magnum could do it!
Immigrant Son is a dark and rocking mid-tempo track that doesn't feature a very prominent chorus, but is enjoyable nevertheless.
The sound of Hard Road remains in keeping with the rest of the album, but it differs in that it rocks a little more come chorus time and features a more stripped back verse. One of the more traditional sounding Magnum tracks of the album.
The Scarecrow is the obligatory epic to close the album and just like On Christmas Day on Rock Art and Don't Wake The Lion from Wings Of Heaven is about 10 minutes in length and builds in intensity as it rocks along. But as always with Mangum, the guys never seem to duplicate themselves and this remains another original epic.
The Bottom Line
Overall a fine addition to the Magnum legacy and an album that certainly impresses more than the last album Breath Of Life did. However, the sound and style over the album is very much in a similar vein and the production was a little rough. Work on those two elements, add back in some big Magnum-esque choruses and the band will be back to their faultless best.
Most Recent Discography / Previously Reviewed
· Wings of Heaven
· Goodnight LA
· Rock Art
· Breath Of Life
· Brand New Morning

Line Up
· Bob Catley: Vocals
· Tony Clarkin: Guitar
· Harry James: Drums
· Al Barrow: Bass
· Mark Stanway: Keyboards

Essential for fans of:
· Magnum
· Bob Catley
Track Listing
· Brand New Morning
· It's Time To Come Together*
· We All Run*
· The Blue And The Grey
· I'd Breathe For You*
· The Last Goodbye*
· Immigrant Son
· Hard Road
· The Scarecrow
--*Best Tracks


19/03/05: WardyS3 - micktward@ozemail.com.au
Rating: 80
Starting to warm to this one after so long! Brand new Morning returns the band to their melodic and pompous best. Guilty pleasures oozing back into my head again, finding myslef loving the generic but catchy as hell chant like rants come chorus time, and the normally annoying keys very cleverly stamp this pop/rock machine with proffesionalism. These guys are good aren't they? Track two takes me back to the good old days of young and not a care in the world. Great stuff!

Treadingly carefully or trully finding their game again, who knows and who really cares? It's all wonderfull stuff (in small doses mind :) )

09/02/05: Freddy De Keyzer - freddydekeyzer@hotmail.com
Rating: 85
As always a quality release from these guys. They never disappoint me !
Recommended stuff !

08/12/04: guillermo - guillerperez@usuariosretecal.es
Rating: 87
UN buen album aunque prefiera los albumes de Bob CAtley en solitario. Buen pomp aor-melodic rock.

14/10/04: Ricardo - rmarty2003@yahoo.es
Rating: 91
I like the album, I think the best tracks are:
1.- The Last Goodbye
2.- Brand New Morning
3.- We All Run
4.- I'd Breathe For You
5.- Hard Road

04/10/04: Tom Wendel Lindström - twendel@telia.com
Rating: 75
OK ! this Is the best Magnum album since Goodnight L.A but I want a softer sound and I relly miss Micky Barker the most under rated drummer In rock. Nothing wrong with Harry James I loved the first 3 Thunder albums but he´s just not Magnum material for me, much better than a drum machine thou ! Al Barrow Is just wonderful on the album, a bit too much guitar and too little keyboards for me . The Scarecrow Is by far the best song on the album Im a sucker for epics. Fav all time Magnum song Is Don´t wake the lion so more of the On a story tellers night and Wings of heaven sound on the next album and Im completly satisfied.

30/09/04: Craig Bishop - bisho72@optushome.com.au
Rating: 90
After the dismal so-called comeback of Breath Of Life, I wasn't holding my breath for this one (pun intended!) Boy was I surprised! BNM has far exceeded my expectations. There has been a lot of talk about the album being "one dimensional." It is at times but at least it is a strong group of songs. Most of my all-time favourite Magnum songs are the mid tempo epics and there are quite a few of them on here too! The only real downside is the god-awful chorus on I'd Breathe For You and the boring Hard Road. Overall a definite return to form from the boys. I only hope for a little more variation of songs on the next one. There is no trace of a ballad here either, unless you own the Japanese version which has the bonus track "Dreamland", but I wouldn't suggest forking out the extra cash (like I did) as it is far from their best.

10/09/04: Mark - mark@wyse583.freeserve.co.uk
Rating: 95
Sheer joy! As a long-time Magnum fan, I am delighted that the band seem to be firing on all cylinders again. Not quite "Wings of Heaven", (my personal favorite), but not far off. By the way, The Last Goodbye is one of my songs of the year, an absolute stormer!!!!!! Well done Magnum!

07/09/04: illimey - illimey@yahoo.com
Rating: 99
Basically, it's as if Tony Clarkin wrote an album just for me. Unvaried? Maybe - but in this instance I can happily live forever and a day without variety. The melodies on offer here are devastating, and the songwriting is consistently incredible. Bob sounds (time for Magnum cliche #258) better than ever, and Tony's guitar has NEVER sounded sweeter or stronger on a studio album. There are plenty of quasi-progressive, classic Magnum moments to keep early Magnum fans happy. And WOH era Magnumaniacs should also wrap there arms around this record with true delight. Thankfully, (!) those of you who thought Rock Art was Magnum's finest hour will probably be a bit disappointed with Brand New Morning!

Picking out highlights would involve a long, boring, drool-infested rant about every track on offer....

:)

Oh alright, I'll resist.

Suffice to say that the trio of We All Run, The Blue and the Grey and I'd Breathe For You is (IMHO of course) the finest 3 song group on any Magnum studio album (which, naturally, means on any studio album by any artist). Although the melody on I'd Breathe for You is perhaps the most understated of the three, I think it is this track which is pushing me over the edge...

Brand New Morning. Magnum's finest since On A Storytellers Night. Magnum's finest ever......????

Yes.

01/09/04: Dave Mayer - djmayerfzr@hotmail.com
Rating: 89
First thoughts were a little disappointing which was a shame as I've been a huge fan since Vigilante. However I gave it a little more time to get under my skin and I must say it's a bit of a grower. I think previous albums have had more impact on the first couple of spins but this one needs more time to really let the songs come through. As the other reviews mention the album does feel a little one-paced and the lack of the usual Magnum ballad (Must Have Been Love,Back In Your Arms Again etc)is a negative but all in all it's a fine album and one that I think will creep up my personal all time fave Magnum album chart given time.

30/08/04: Figge - anderssonfigge@hotmail.com
Rating: 85
I wasn't expecting very much from this release considering the immensely disappointing comeback album "Breath of Life" (2002). Great news though, this is a really good, rocking album. There are some songs that doesn't quite meassure up...but the best songs on the album are Magnum at their best.
Minus points though, for the pretty rough production. I also agree with Andrew about the album being a little unvaried and "one tempo'd"
Best songs: We All Run, The Last Goodbye, I'd Breathe For You.


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