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Monday, June 30, 2008

Magenta

Metamorphosis (The Laser’s Edge)

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  Christina Booth, lead vocalist of the British prog band Magenta, cites Madison’s Garbage as one of her favorite artists. That influence shows in Magenta’s fourth album, the dark and slightly off-kilter Metamorphosis, which bristles with haunting and atmospheric pop-rock songs that can stir odd emotions in listeners.

  Originally launched as a studio project in 2001, Magenta has morphed into one of the most popular progressive bands overseas. Metamorphosis demonstrates why. With just four songs spanning nearly 55 minutes, the album revolves around such emotional subject matter as a soldier at war (“The Ballad of Samuel Layne”), suicidal lovers (“Prekestolen”), a killer’s psyche (the disturbing title track) and life’s final moments (“Blind Faith”).

  Through it all, Magenta alternates between understated urgency and stylish subtlety. This is lush music full of nuances and quirks, intended to be absorbed without interruption or distraction.