Magic Is Alive’ like past Lionville efforts is resplendent with glorious choruses, you lie in wait on many of these songs just to be blown away when they arrive.
Written by: gdmonline
ALBUM: Magic Is Alive
SERIAL: FRCD 1060
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Italy
LINEUP: Stefano Lionetti – guitars, keyboards, backing vocals * Lars Sasfund – lead and backing vocals * Guilio Dagnino – bass * Martino Malacrida – drums
Additional Musicians: Michele Monestiroli – sax * Michele Cusato – guitar solos * Fabrizio Caria – piano * Bruce Gaitsch – guitar (#4 and 6) * David Forbes – vocals (#6)
TRACK LISTING: 01 Nothing Without You * 02 You’re Not Alone * 03 Runaway * 04 Finally You’re With Me * 05 Every Little Thing (Leads Back To You) * 06 If You Don’t Know Me * 07 Living With The Truth * 08 Reaching For The Sky * 09 I’ll Never Give My Heart Away * 10 Into The Night * 11 Magic Is Alive
WEBLINKS: FB Page
I’ll admit it took me a little while to get into this album but at the end of the day, the roses are smelling lovely and the sun is shining brightly, and a new Lionville album is released, keeping us members of the pink and fluffy brigade happy. I decided to spend a lengthy period listening to this along with a couple of other August releases, just to get to the bottom of them. Quite glad I did as there are many more goodies to be found at the moment, or at least, coming down the pike.
It’s Lionville’s fourth effort (2011, 2012, 2017 and now 2020), utilising the same lineup from ‘A World Of Fools’ from 2017. If I recall, they are the only band on Glory Daze to receive full 100/100 marks for more than one album, plus they rank fairly highly for acts within the last decade. All the attributes you remember from a Lionville record can be found yet again, and with my lengthy hold on this review, these blossomed on successive listens.
‘Magic Is Alive’ like past Lionville efforts is resplendent with glorious choruses. You lie in wait on many of these songs just to be blown away when they arrive. The comparison to Work Of Art is inevitable, but after last year’s WOA album, which for me was a slight let-down, it’s clear to me that Lionville has drawn ahead by a few lengths.
‘Nothing Without You’ leads off, it’s one of two tracks that have official videos for the album (see below). This, along with ‘You’re Not Alone’ are a tidy pair of tracks to get us underway, big choruses to boot. ‘Runaway’ with its change-up vocal from Lars has appeal. It also features a nu-breed styled vocal chant straight out of 2001. Piano lines open ‘Finally You’re With Me’ which leads into a mid-paced ballad. This is OK as a bit of musical respite.
‘Every Little Thing (Leads Back To You)’ is probably the raciest tune on the album, and sounds fantastic when turned up loud. Those intro synths are crushingly good. There is a load of guitar spots on ‘If You Don’t Know Me’, overall a rockier affair.
‘Living With The Truth’ is another of my album highlights, the piano intro is deceiving as the track soon opens out to a full-on AOR gem. This is trademark Lionville. ‘Reaching For The Sky’ is a funky number, completed by some incisive sax parts and Rhodes like keyboard work.
‘I’ll Never Give My Heart Away’ features a rolling set of verses to get us underway before landing on a super chorus. Another album highlight, with an official video to boot, see below. ‘Into The Night’ is the second of the ballads, it just flows along like a leaf on a stream.
The album concludes with the title track ‘Magic Is Alive’, an obvious tribute to the late great 80’s, judging by the lyrics and hi-tech sound including a sultry sax solo, all dead giveaways from our favourite decade.
There we go, a fun listen and a true blue AOR album in our covid-19 ravaged times. If there is any uplifting to be done, spinning this album to cheer your battered soul will go some way toward it. Probably not as good as their previous albums, but in all honesty those were masterpieces. Enjoy it for what it is.
I’ll Never Give My Heart Away
Nothing Without You
Living With The Truth
Every Little Thing (Leads Back To You)
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[Gdazegod] Nice song, love the steampunk artwork on the front cover too. In that video ‘Nothing Without You’, isn’t that guy an absolute stalker?
[George The Jack] Amazing that despite Lionville had started like a ‘poor man’s Work of Art’, lately they have rather left them miles behind in the smoke.
Nice song indeed. That’s very promising and reminisces the great Lionville II. Can’t wait to hear more.
[PatrickHemming] Terrific song. Lars Safsund could sing the McDonalds menu and I’d want to give it a listen. These guys bring the quality with every release.
[George The Jack] He’s not very good live though as he loses a good amount of his power and stamina. Robbie LaBlanc has a similar tone, even greater range and he’s also a powerhouse.
[PatrickHemming] Robbie LaBlanc is one of my top ten vocalists currently working in AOR & Melodic Rock.
I’ve not had the opportunity to see either of them live, though would love to. I’m a big fan of Fury, LeBlanc & Find Me as well as Robbie’s many guest spots. Those records have many killer songs and I’ve featured several of them on Deep Dives.
[George The Jack] I have seen them live both.
Great albums those, especially Fury 🙂
[George The Jack] Nice! 2 out of 2 so far 🙂
[CDChaz] Comes across like an out take from Toto’s Tambu album, and that’s no bad thing, reminiscent of Simon Philips drumming, on speed maybe, looking forward to this release.