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Magician Among Spirits
Magician Among Spirits
Genres: Alternative Rock, World Music, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

Australian edition of the latest album from this top Australian rock group. 10 tracks, including the single 'Comedown'. Features the three primary elements of the band: Steve Kilbey, Marty Wilson-Piper and Peter Koppes.


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CD Details

All Artists: Church
Title: Magician Among Spirits
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Griffin Records
Release Date: 6/25/1996
Genres: Alternative Rock, World Music, Pop, Rock
Styles: Europe, Scandinavia
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 759092585628


Album Description
Australian edition of the latest album from this top Australian rock group. 10 tracks, including the single 'Comedown'. Features the three primary elements of the band: Steve Kilbey, Marty Wilson-Piper and Peter Koppes.

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CD Reviews

A flawed but worthwhile transition album
Harry Crewz | Seattle, WA USA | 01/13/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)

"1996's Magician Among the Spirits marked the beginning of the end of a meandering time in the Church's career. After 1992's remarkable Priest=Aura, cofounder Peter Koppes' left the band, leaving other co-founder and lead vocalist Steve Kilbey and signature lead guitarist Marty Willson-Piper to trudge on. Magician is the second of two albums (Sometime Anywhere is the first) where the subdued, lengthy, and occasionally dreamy compositions of Kilbey and Willson-Piper were marked by an aching, empty spaciousness that suggested some understated yearning (rather than the scintillating, often psychedelic guitar rock of their 80's records). Whether Kilbey and Willson-Piper intended it or not, their songs seemed to be fragments calling out for Koppes' input.On Magician, Koppes made his brief "guest" return, and the hint that he might rejoin the group (as well as the gradually increasing presence of the Church's excellent drummer, Tim Powles) gives this record a certain lift. Magician feels like the heir apparent to Priest=Aura that 1994's Sometime Anywhere was not; but it plays like more of an uneven ten-song sketchbook than a fully-realized release.Still, it features some great songs. "Comedown", the single (and a really great song live!), bottles the spirit and energy of classic Church songs like "Reptile" from Starfish and "When You Were Mine" from The Blurred Crusade. "Ladyboy" is another interesting return to form that successfully avoids formula.Yet, other songs on Magician are curious oddities that tend to stumble, regain a sense of direction and form, and then stumble again almost thoughtlessly. Some of these tunes are interesting; the most compelling is probably "Romany Caravan". Some other tracks seem like the product of handful of musicians exploring each other's musical energy together in some late night studio session, but feel incomplete or unmolded ("The Further Adventures of the Time Being" and "Magician Among the Spirits"). Other tracks duplicate previous successes ( "Welcome" feels like an alternate version of "Aura" from Priest=Aura and it makes me smile every time I hear it), and similarly, "Afterimage" is an instrumental that seems kindred to "Film", Priest's closer. The re-release of Magician with four extra tracks has bolstered the strength and continuity of the record to some degree, and I recommend choosing it over the original 1996 release.If you are new to the Church, I don't recommend starting with Magician Among the Spirits (I gave it three stars here, but if Amazon supported half star ratings, I'd give it 3 ½). Start with Starfish or The Blurred Crusade. If you find yourself really getting into them and feel driven to try to unravel Steve Kilbey's lyrics or are fascinated by some of the sometimes deep, sometimes deeply bizarre emotional spaces Church songs can conjure, then give records like Magician Among the Spirits and Séance a try."
Not their best, but the title track is fantastic
Harry Crewz | 01/01/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I was excited when Magician Among the Spirits was released because I wasn't that thrilled by the previous album and I was hoping this one would be better. It was, but it's still not as strong as some of their previous efforts (especially Starfish, The Blurred Crusade and Heyday). At times the band sounds tired. Guitarrist Peter Koppes was missing from most of this album, and it shows. Although he's a quiet presence in the band, his thoughtful, dreamy guitar riffs are vital. (Thankfully he re-joined the band later.) This isn't an album I'd recommend to new fans. However, if you enjoyed several of the Church's previous efforts (especially Priest=Aura), you'll probably like this CD as well."Come Down" is catchy and was released as a single. It got some airplay on college radio here in the U.S., but it just lacked something. It had potential, but as I mentioned earlier, the band seemed tired. On previous albums, I imagine the band would have continued working on the song until it sounded stronger. My favorite track by far is the title track, "Magician Among the Spirits." It's very long (way too long for radio) and ambiant -- great for just chilling out on a lazy Sunday afternoon. When I hear it, I'm always struck by how much it reminds me of "Riders on the Storm" or "The End" by The Doors."
Magician Among the Spirits and Some
Christian Schreier | 02/05/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I think this is a great CD. The added "B side" tracks on this 2nd version are worth the choice. However, the bottom line is, its all a matter of preference and you'de have to hear it yourself to be the judge of that. Written descriptions just don't do the job."