Magic Pie — Fragments of the 5th Element
(Karisma KAR159, 2019, CD / LP / DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2020-07-05
On their fifth album, Magic Pie continues their musical path, bringing together elements of melodic rock, progressive rock, and classic 70s sounds in a most engaging way. Fragments of the 5th Element contains four tracks of moderate length and one LP-side-length epic called “The Hedonist.” All of the qualities that made their previous albums work are here — the vintage keyboard sounds, the strong vocals (both lead and backing), the flashy guitar, the tight arrangements, and so on. It could be said that Magic Pie is doing nothing new, but the quality of the songwriting and performance is so good that it works anyway. And they do this without coming off as overly technical — there’s still human emotion in the music. “The Man Who Had It All” starts off with a great instrumental section, followed by the amusing lyric, “Jeremiah was a wino…” Musically, it’s a little reminiscent of Jethro Tull at their most complex (say Passion Play) crossed with the sound Sweet had on “Love Is Like Oxygen” and touches of Ambrosia from their first album. Lead singer Eiríkur Hauksson has a pleasant amount of rasp in his voice, and is able to handle a wide range of both volume and pitch. Five of the six band members are credited with vocals, and their backing parts are superbly executed. The rich sounds of Hammond organ feature on most of the tracks, and electric piano, Mellotron, and Moog-like synthesizer sounds are present in abundance. Fragments of the 5th Element is another winner from this band and a treat for fans of classic progressive rock sounds.
Related artist(s): Magic Pie
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