Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Album Review: The Magic Numbers - Outsiders

The Magic Numbers
**** out of *****

In 2014 The Magic Numbers released Alias. The band claimed it was their most adult, complete and best album. RtBE disagreed. The quartet are ill suited for Pink Floyd experimental downer art rock, they clearly work best with indie pop upbeat outings. That said the band has absorbed the best parts of those dark interludes and put it all together for the best release of their career, Outsiders.

Right from opening duo "Shotgun Wedding" and "Ride Against the Wind" the band is on sure footing as the harmonies and jangling guitars flow out of them. The unique brother/sister quartet Romeo Stodart (lead guitar, vocals), his sister Michele (bass guitar, vocals, keyboard), Angela Gannon (melodica, percussion, glockenspiel, vocals) and her brother Sean Gannon (drums) have grown up and become fantastic songwriters.

"Runaways" gets a bit gloomy but injects an excellent poppy chorus that melds both the light and dark with ease but it is the following tune that pushes this album from good to great territory. "Sweet Divide" is a stunner as a moody guitar line opens things before the band soars into huge arena ready choruses extending and expanding the sound with a saxophone and mid 80's adult pop/contemporary slickness. Like The War On Drugs, The Magic Numbers manage to pull positives out of the radio ready decade and "Sweet Divide" is a standout on a stout record.

After a mostly acoustic break with "Wayward" the tempo and production slickness gets amped for the rambling "The Keeper" shakes hips and brings smiles to faces. The drama swells for the gorgeous "Dreamer" which blends the excellent vocals around piano/percussion fills in over the top fashion. "Power Lines" cools it down with some smooth soul inspired horns, strings and organs while "Lost Children" is the only downer/miss on the album which closes with the searching/building "Sing Me A Rebel Song".

The Magic Numbers are back and on top of their game. While the group went platinum on their 2005 debut release, Outsiders find them more fully formed, confident, wide ranging, dynamic and quite frankly better all around in 2018. If you haven't checked in on the group in a while, now is the time. 

Support the artists, buy the album, peep some video below:

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