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Purson: Desire's Magic Theatre

Album Review

Psychedelia runs deep on a trippy second album

Coming three years after the captivating The Circle And The Blue Door, Purson’s second full-length is a flamboyant retro-rock opera and ode to psychoactives that inhabits the same soundscape as Sgt. Pepper – but the psychedelic rockers aren’t merely affecting tribute to a bygone era.

The album’s eponymous opener, from its bluesy swing to the folky waltz that’s punctuated by applause, sounds like a long lost bootleg from a 70s club show. Parade stands out as a gorgeous ballad with a nod to Pink Floyd in which singer Rosalie Cunningham gives a beautifully understated performance, while The Bitter Suite is a stunning prog-rock opus with shades of early Queen. What’s striking about this album is how it manages to be ambitious yet unaffected. The hallucinatory lyrics of Mr Howard, a colourful trip through Rosie’s mind on drugs, are backed by intricately woven musical arrangements.

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