Princess Alice And The Broken Arrow


Princess Alice And The Broken Arrow is added to the reasons someone has to occupy […]
By Grigoris Chronis
April 14, 2007
Magnum - Princess Alice And The Broken Arrow album cover

Princess Alice And The Broken Arrow is added to the reasons someone has to occupy himself with the supremacy of this eternally qualitative British band. I have been a MAGNUM fan since the 80s and cannot really recall the time (if there was one..) I stiffed upper lip with one of this wonderful act's album. And - hell yeah - this ain't gonna happen (by all means) with an album bearing such a splendid title (can't 'see' the link?) and a luxurious cover (you know who, you know who!). No fillers, again, here; just great songs!
A MAGNUM bio? No way! Just listen to the sound of the data coming on...
Birmingham, England may be the proudest Rock city in the whole globe. Why? Because: BLACK SABBATH, URIAH HEEP, JUDAS PRIEST, DIAMOND HEAD and MAGNUM. Satisfied? Still, MAGNUM may be the only (worldwide) successful Rock (in general) band with petite (if not none) success in the US. As a teenager, this was food for thought. Then - with years passing by and MAGNUM coming on to me ears every time in a different 'format' - the criteria was simple enough to read and weep. And the manifest states: the mysticism of URIAH HEEP, the incessive spirit of QUEEN, the epic of WISHBONE ASH and THIN LIZZY and the pomp-ness of YES was too much to be summed to one song itself (even if many elements someone may cmpare with the MEAT LOAF deeds). Unlucky enough to emerge (discographic-wise) in the midst of the Punk typhoon (an eternal cost, it seems), MAGNUM's phenomenal albums like Chase The Dragon (1982) and On A Storyteller's Night (1985) still stand proud anthems of colossal British (hard) Rock musicianship.
Seven years of disbanding is not a bad time; the MAGNUM reunion albums Breath Of Life (2001) and Brand New Morning (2004) have nothing to be jealous of. So does Princess Alice And The Broken Arrow, in my poor opinion. MAGNUM preserves its character; in such extends that can please even AOR/Melodic Rock fans (again). Bob Catley is in top form; his warm voice ensures the eminence of his singing and I feel he's in his second youth. Even more, Tony Clarkin seems to remain forever young! Great melodies (all songs are penned by his majesty), crystal clear acoustic guitars, traveling harmonies and a general instrumentation that needs no further explanation. On the background of all, some wonderful keyboards work by Mark Stanway (a 1980 compatriot) could give no less than a majestic resonance to truly inspiriting hooks, bridges and refrains. Rockers, passionate mid-tempos, nostalgic slow tunes and the whole recipe of MAGNUM, who seem not willing enough to let their style adopt new image (apart, maybe, from the ongoing AOR ingredients floating here and there).
It takes not more than a weekend for a juvenile Hard Rock/Metal fan to check out 2-3 classic MAGNUM albums, to write down the bands he/she likes and have naturally been influenced by this grand act. Then, to buy Princess Alice And The Broken Arrow would be a piece of cake. As for the core fan base: this album (too) is for you, no questions asked!
P.S.: Bear in mind the rating climbs up one scale after reading the lyrics...can't teach an ol' dog new tricks...

8 / 10


"Princess Alice And The Broken Arrow" Track-listing:

When We Were Younger
Eyes Wide Open
Like Brothers We Stand
Out Of The Shadows
Dragons Are Real
Inside Your Head
Be Strong
Thank You For The Day
Your Lies
Desperate Times
You'll Never Sleep

Magnum Lineup:

Tony Clarkin - Guitars
Bob Catley - Vocals
Mark Stanway - Keyboards
Jimmy Copley - Drums
Al Barrow - Bass

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