With a career spanning 30 years, Saga
remain something of a torchbearer for the old-school progressive rock scene, a scene that they left at least partially behind for a while but rejoined with renewed vigor and with some tricks learned in the melodic rock trenches. They're not going to win any new converts with Trust
; those who shy away from Michael Sadler
's bombastic vibrato will still do so when he launches into "That's as Far as I'll Go," and those who find the band's more extravagant flights of musical fancy overly precious won't be won over by "Back to the Shadows" (with its synthesized horn fanfares) or the somewhat overly earnest "My Friend," either. And no one should be willing to put up with the bad Peter Gabriel
impersonation that is "Time to Play," a song that is not only embarrassingly derivative but also unforgivably snarky in its putdowns of others' music. However, fans will be sure to enjoy the nice counterpoint between frenetic guitar and keyboard lines and the slower, more languid sung vocals and chord progression on "I'm OK" and the bracing "Ice in the Rain." Lyrics are a problem from time to time (couplets about going back to school and learning the rules are not normally acceptable from songwriters in their forties), but really, Saga
are about great sound, and you get plenty of that here.