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music reviewmusic review  out of 4 Music Review: Marathon

Artist: Saga
Genre: Rock, Pop
Release Date: February 2003

Review by Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
2 stars out of 4

Saga is Worlds Apart from the sound that made them internationally recognized music stars with their new album Marathon. In some obvious ways they sound very much like that keyboard dominated band from the 80s and often times they sound heavier with more upfront guitars. The mixture is one that may attract an audience that was previously unavailable while also satisfying some of their longtime fans.

I was disappointed with the consistency and lack of variety on this album. This kind of music does not allow too much variance, and it is because of a formula the band refuses to change. Perhaps if they try some new instruments like adding some horns or doing a ballad with acoustic guitar their sound would have a chance to develop into something more than it always has been, just for the sake of doing something different. I think the potential is there for growth in a definite fusion direction if they choose, a darker heavier sound like popular neo-prog groups have, but I somehow doubt that will ever happen. The genre they fall into certainly is no longer progressive rock, art rock or hard rock with elements of pop it most certainly is. I hear a group that could be so much more. Regardless, there has to be something working in order to maintain their longevity.

I think longtime fans would find some value in this release and first time listeners could appreciate this album. I never heard any albums in between Worlds Apart and Marathon so I really do not know if they went through any major changes with their sound. As far as I can tell, there is not very much difference in their overall sound over twenty years later. I honestly did not enjoy this album as much after listening to it for a second time and that is not a good sign, which points to boredom and disinterest the third time I give it a spin. Well, I know I have the one album by Saga that means the most in my collection, and it is not this one.

1. Marathon - 4:59
2. How Are You? - 5:22
3. Breathing Lessons - 4:25
4. Hands Up - 3:44
5. Streets of Gold (Chapter 14) - 5:11
6. The Blind Side of Your Heart - 4:35
7. Return to Forever - 4:26
8. Too Deep - 4:36
9. You Know I Know (Chapter 12) - 4:21
10. Rise and Shine - 3:32
11. Worlds Apart (Chapter16) - 6:10



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