Best track: never go back
click album cover to listen
now on his third album, magic dance has had time to process his direction, and as such he has not disappointed with his overall vision. the album is heavy on vibrant guitar riffs & solos with a truly 80's retro feel to the playing. I think there is only one track that doesn't make the guitar the focal point! the first two tracks 'you're holding back' and 'never go back' are actually my favourites.
the first sounding like it should be playing over an 80's teen movie montage set in a high school, and the second is so pop-like that I think it would fit in on any on bbc radio 1 radio show. not that I would want magic dance to suffer that fate.
i'm not big on the poppier stuff but this one has a certain warmth to it that has seriously grown on me. unfortunately, with my first two tracks being my top picks, the rest of the album never seems to garner the same positivity from me. that being said, i do have a lot of time for 'cut beneath the skin'. it has quite a country feel to it, kind in melody and soft on vocals. it's merely a nice easy-listening track.
the final track, the self-titled outro is actually as far from synthwave as you like and is actually a brYan adams-esque ballad with some wonderful piano work. why on earth am I warming to the non-synthwave songs?!
I guess the overall point to say about this album is that it is not a typical synthwave record, which may disappoint some fans. however I think magic dance will gain more followers from other genres which can only be a good thing. there are still some wonderful nods back to the classic aor stuff from the likes of survivor and heart. in that sense he has a created a good album with superb production value for someone that is typically a solo artist, although it should be noted that he collaborated with other musicians on this album.
my hope is that the next piece of work manages to incorporate more of the synths that can be heard in past tracks like 'in their eyes' and 'the starchild' too much good guitar can be too much of a good thing as they say. as I finish this review, I have just found out that the man behind magic dance is American and pairing that fact with the sound of this album makes so much sense, America must love this album. and if they don't...they should! it has America seeping out of every chord and tone. which reminds me, this guy has a cracking set of lungs on him! 8/10 joe ward.