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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


Images at Twilight (vinyl)

Review by Gary Hill

The second release from Canadian prog rock outfit Saga, this came out in 1979. It seemed to build upon the foundation begun with their first album. The disc showcases the unique sound of the group, and really does a lot to improve upon its predecessor, as far as I'm concerned. That one was strong. This is even better.

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Track by Track Review
Side One
It's Time (Chapter Three)

This gets under way with a fast paced jam. It's bright and sunny in terms of tone. It turns more dramatic as the vocals join. I really love the powerful instrumental break that takes it later. It has so much style, and also some killer guitar soloing. 

See Them Smile
Another energized rocker with plenty of Saga trademarks, I dig the synthetic vocal parts on the chorus.
Slow Motion
The opening keyboard part on this is bright and a little chirpy. The cut has a dramatic and unique rhythmic vibe and groove to it. This is almost funky. It gets lusher and more symphonic prog oriented as it continues.
You're Not Alone
Guitar brings this in with a meaty sound. The track works out into another trademark Saga sound, but that guitar really drives it. The vocal arrangement is more complex with all kinds of lines coming at one another. The instrumental break on this features some cool symphonic prog jamming that gets very potent. It works out from there to more melodic territory. This piece explodes outward at the end of that before dropping way down to gradually reinvent the song proper. I love the awesome guitar soloing as it nears the end.
Side Two
Take It or Leave It

A guitar driven arrangement brings this number in with some serious energy. Keyboards provide a lush icing on the cake that is the introduction. Then it drops to a more keyboard based arrangement for the entrance of the vocals. This is another classy hard rocking number that has a lot of Saga trademarks built into it. It also features some killer guitar work.

Images (Chapter One)
Classical piano gets us going here. It builds in a dramatic way, but then drops down to intricate and ambient classical ballad zones for the entrance of the vocals. This has some intriguing evolution. It eventually soars in some more triumphant sounding ways after the halfway mark of the number. The instrumental section that is created by that has some killer classic prog built into it. Although there are some non-lyrical vocals, this dramatic movement remains otherwise instrumental. It's also one of the most powerful passages of the whole album.
Hot to Cold
High energy and rocking, this has some new wave angles, but also plenty of classic prog rock in the mix. There are some intriguing twists and turns here. The closing section is catchy, yet meaty and also quite energetic.
Mouse in a Maze
Vocals bring this tune into being and hold it with a cool arrangement. Then a hard-edged guitar arrangement rises up to take the track from there. This is a dramatic and rather theatric powerhouse tune that is packed full of Saga trademarks. It's also one of the best tunes here, making it a great closer. I really love the guitar work on this song so much. The changes are so strong, too. The closing movement on this thing is purely on fire.
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