Magnum - Alice And The Broken Arrow
SPV
Hard Rock / AOR / Progressive
11 songs (62'32)
Release year: 2007
Magnum, SPV
Reviewed by Chris
Major event

Its been a good fifteen years since I first discovered Magnum with the album Wings Of Heaven (consequently one of their best albums too, certainly one of their heaviest as well). I've been a rather loyal fan ever since, even though I haven't been attracted so much by the late material, that is until my ears had the chance to listen to Alice And the Broken Arrow. I will most certainly check back the last few albums up to Rock Art. Sleepwalking was such a let down that it almost burried Magnum in my heart. But Alice And The Broken Arrow (their 13th studio album) resurrected my feelings for this wonderful band.

The first part of this album is simply mind blowing. The first five songs of this album are a real demonstration of AOR / Hard Rock with some progressive elements into them. They contain a synthesis of almost everything Magnum have done over the years, and they have a great mood and "panache". The choruses are powerful, the most powerful that Magnum ever delivered, passionate and emotional bombs ready to explode in your neuronal net like a fireworks of all colors and moods. The album breathes positive emotions. Bob Catley is faithful to himself, delivering very emotional vocals. The one thing you can't change in Magnum without ripping its soul is Bob's amazing vocals. The songs are more heavy than we're used to for Magnum, partly due to the production and also some more square riffing. As it was the case with many albums, the arrangements are all over the place, perfectly taging along the songs and giving them this unmistakable Magnum identify and true originality. The classical guitar on the opener When We Were Young is awesome and sends shivers down my spine every time it starts. For the first 20-25 mintues, the level of the songs will nail you to the wall and you'll be begging for more. And that's almost a problem cause its very difficult to keep this incredible level of musicianship, composition and passionate songs. And after the ballad Inside Your Head, the album does feel like it lost a bit in intensity (I think it wouldn't have felt this way if the ballad had been delivered later on in the album). But that's only because it started with such passion, power and majesty. Not to say that second part of the album is bad, no no, far from it (as this album contains only but great songs !), but the best is mostly in the beginning, though the album concludes on another three awesome songs : Your Lies, Desperate Times & You'll Never Sleep. If you've been a fan of Magnum, whatever the era (70's, 80's & 90's), this album has something to offer to you, and if like me you've listened to most of their discography, then you'll have this feeling of being at home with each and every song. The keys to successful Magnum songs are all here : great catchy songs, awesome vocals, magnificent arrangements, and a great dose of emotions throughout.

The artwork is somewhat reminiscent of On A Storyteller's Night, and I think its the same artist who painted it. Though its more modern somehow, even the framing is there, also more modern and simpler. On a purely artistic level, I laregely prefer On A Storyteller's Night artwork, in both the scene, colors and overall composition. The (yet another) new logo doesn't help either :).

In the end this album is a great surprise, and definitely sends the message that Magnum is FAR from being dead. In case like me you've disconnected with Magnum after Sleepwalking, then rest assure that Magnum are back in style and at the top of their talent again. I can't get enough of this album, and I truly hope the band will be able to deliver more passionate and majestous albums like this one in the years to come. Great job guys !

Killing Songs :
All, but my favorites are : When We Were Young, Like Brother We Stand, Out Of The Shadows, Dragons Are Real, Your Lies & You'll Never Sleep.
Chris quoted 93 / 100
Other albums by Magnum that we have reviewed:
Magnum - The Eleventh Hour! reviewed by Ben and quoted 81 / 100
Magnum - Chase The Dragon reviewed by Ben and quoted 90 / 100
Magnum - On A Storyteller's Night reviewed by Chris and quoted CLASSIC
Magnum - Brand New Morning reviewed by Marty and quoted 90 / 100
Magnum - Wings Of Heaven reviewed by Chris and quoted 94 / 100
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