June 14, 2011
Ear Music
World, Hard Rock, Prog-Rock, Album Rock, Japanese Traditions

Album Review

Throughout the history of rock music, there are countless times that veteran bands have attempted to soldier on after the loss of their longtime lead singer. In some cases, it worked well (AC/DC after Bon Scott's death); in others, it fell flat (Genesis after Phil Collins' departure). If you were to judge this by the duration of a substitute singer's tenure, then the union between melodic prog rockers Saga and Rob Moratti falls under the latter category, as the replacement for longtime Saga frontman Michael Sadler only lasted for a single forgettable album, 2009's The Human Condition. But as evidenced by the 2011 live album Heads or Tales: Live (which, as its title states, is a track-by-track reproduction of their 1983 release, Heads or Tales), Moratti had no problem replicating Sadler's soaring vocals, cases in point being the faithful renditions of such Saga classics as "The Flyer," "Cat Walk," and "Scratching the Surface." But with the omission of any recent Human Condition-era material, the group's choice to have Moratti's first live album with the band be a reproduction of an old album is a bit of a head scratcher. And to add insult to injury, a few months prior to the release of Heads or Tales: Live, it was announced that none other than Mr. Sadler was back in the band -- which makes the Moratti-sung Heads or Tales: Live come off as a missed opportunity.
Greg Prato, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Intro
  2. The Flyer
  3. Cat Walk
  4. The Sound of Strangers
  5. The Writing
  6. Intermission
  7. Social Orphan
  8. The Vendetta (Still Helpless)
  9. Scratching the Surface
  10. The Pitchman
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