With founding members Bob Catley and the late Tony Clarkin once again at the helm, Magnum returns with their 23rd studio album, the hotly anticipated Here Comes The Rain.
Since 1972, there have been few bands who possess the unmistakable sonic signature that resonates from the very first notes of their tracks. Enter Magnum, the epitome of melodic prowess, exquisite instrumentation, the perfect fusion of depth and catchiness, and the inimitable charisma of their lead vocalist. Magnum is more than just a band; they are a musical experience, and their latest masterpiece, Here Comes The Rain, is a testament to their enduring legacy.
The Magnum line-up of frontman Bob Catley, guitarist/songwriter Tony Clarkin (who sadly passed away just days before the release of this album), keyboardist Rick Benton, bassist Dennis Ward and drummer Lee Morris once again delivers a vibrant, diverse, and inspired studio album. Clarkin enthused about the collaborative spirit of the album noting "Everyone played their part without me dictating anything; everyone just instinctively played what their inspiration told them." He continued, "At the end of the day, there’s not much that’s more satisfying for a musician than to come up with a new number that you yourself really like."
Clarkin's creative process, as described, is a fascinating blend of musical exploration and literary inspiration. He delves into his guitar, keyboard, and even the pages of a book to find that elusive spark. Despite the isolating nature of a musician's life, once the writing begins, it becomes Clarkin's world - a place where he truly belongs.
The extended writing period for Here Comes The Rain brought its challenges, with Covid-induced tour delays disrupting Clarkin's usual routine. However, this hurdle resulted in an album that not only meets but exceeds expectations, showcasing the band's resilience and dedication to their craft.
Addressing the album's subject matter, Clarkin is protective of divulging too much, recognizing the power of personal interpretation. He notes, "Better that they find their own meaning in it," echoing the sentiment that the beauty of music lies in its ability to resonate uniquely with each listener.
The album's enchanting artwork, courtesy of the legendary Rodney Matthews, adds another layer to the Magnum experience. Clarkin appreciates the allegorical avian battalion on the back cover, a visual counterpart to the atmospherically dense music within.
Here Comes The Rain not only embodies Magnum's signature elements but also surprises with tracks like "Blue Tango," a foot-tapping riff-rock gem, and "The Seventh Darkness," enriched by the brilliance of guest musicians Chris "Beebe" Aldridge and Nick Dewhurst on saxophone and trumpet, respectively.