Exposé Online banner

Magic Pie — King for a Day
(Karisma KAR091, 2015, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2015-08-01

King for a Day Cover art

This Norwegian band has an engaging sound that incorporates quite a range of elements, from sophisticated pop-rock along the lines of 10cc or early Ambrosia to complex modern prog like Echolyn with some tinges of the mixture of whimsy and grandeur that Klaatu embodied. That they meld all of this into a coherent style is testament to their vision and talent. The six tracks on King for a Day comprise three topping the ten-minute mark and three more in the five to six minute range. The vocals are generally at the forefront, with appealing and expressive leads and masses of harmonies in the tradition of bands like Sweet or Queen, occasionally breaking into interlocking parts to contrast with the usual big chords. The lyrics are in English, and sung without noticeable accents. Another important factor in their sound is the keyboards, with lots of crunchy organ, Mellotron, and twiddly leads. Guitars range from delicate acoustic to facile shredding leads, without ever tipping over into the metal camp. In short, while Magic Pie take their cues from artists of the 70s, they do it so well and with such a sense of drama and flow that the question of originality is more or less irrelevant. The sophistication of the compositions and arrangements lifts King for a Day above the level of emulation or pastiche. There’s a constant stream of inventive touches, from unexpected breaks wandering out of key to freaky effects processing to diversions in tempo and time – every track has at least one moment where I'm prompted to say, "Oh, that was a nice touch!" Yet another shining exemplar of Scandinavian progressive rock, well worth investigating.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Magic Pie

More info
http://magicpie.bandcamp.com/album/king-for-a-day

Latest news

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Liberation. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Lili Haydn - Lili – It was February when I bought this on a whim, and it only took a few listens for me to revise my Best of 97 list to include it. Lili Haydn is a violinist of great talent. She’s apparently been doing...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues