ALBUM REVIEW: The Infinity Cove Sessions: Intermission

Sir Magnus is an award winning Pop/EDM artist and songwriter, originally born in Syracuse but now based in Las Vegas. After over a decade being successful in the corporate world he decided something was missing from his life and that was music, his first love. He made the bold decision to relocate to Las Vegas and began his musical career. He’s since had a lot of success with releases including Lips, Grand Central Station and The Decree EP, amongst others. This led to him winning a SAMMY award and he has become a leading voice in the black artistic community.

Recently, Sir Magnus released the first part of this album cycle, The Infinity Cove Sessions: Overture (which I reviewed very favourably, read here). This album, The Infinity Cove Sessions: Intermission constitutes the second part and consists of six tracks. The album gets off to a blazing start via the effervescent and vibrant EDM pop of Anime Girl. Starting with just piano then pulsating synths and Sir Magnus’s echo-drenched lead vocal, the music develops subtly on the verse then breaks into layered vocal harmonies on the bridge.

This builds to the instantly anthemic chorus bolstered by a pumping kick then a glorious full beat that will appeal on the dance floor. Sir Magnus’s vocals particularly shine on this track, particularly effective on the high register chorus. It’s actually the lyrics that give the song an interesting depth; what at first sounds like a typical boy/girl attraction song reveals itself to be something more interesting and unusual: “After school I’ll meet you there underneath the cherry tree, tell me stories, tell me how you feel, we don’t have to do anything….”.

It’s a fascinating depiction of an infatuation with a fictional character that a schoolboy draws the anime girl and brings her to life: “You have stories in your eyes, your face a mystery, as you come alive jumping from still to motion….”. This unusual subject matter is balanced perfectly by the simple but very infectious title hook, which makes it a great choice as a single along with its radio friendly sound.

Second track EMR (feat. J.R. Lottary) is another serious contender for a single with a relatable and honest depiction of hedonistic excess. Built around a slick RnB groove, Sir Magnus gives another killer vocal performance, his smooth Jason Derulo-style voice nicely contrasted by an effective rap cameo from J.R. Lottary.

Lyrically, it really captures the awareness of knowing that a lifestyle of burning the candle at both ends is not wise in the long run. This is best encapsulated by the chorus, perhaps the most instant one on the album: “Early morning redbull, so my boss will leave it alone, I should have went to bed, I should have came home, instead I drank too much and partied all night long...”. So many will connect with this great track, and could become what Can’t Feel My Face did for The Weeknd.

Next comes the sequel to Imagination Brilliance Sequence from the first album. It’s a superb EDM instrumental like its predecessor, this one starting out like a Todd Terje track before morphing into a Big Room house track emblazoned with Skrillex-style dubstep synths that combine to create a fantastic sound. This is one example of Sir Magnus’s considerable musical versatility and works as a fine contrast as well.

Grand Central Station is another sophisticated track that works as a commercial pop/EDM track but once again has hidden depths in the words. It could be taken as a love letter to New York, returning home to it like a prodigal son after much travel.

Or, alternatively, it could be more specifically about the statue in Grand Central Station: “Stand underneath the statue’s eye, our love spands just like the ocean, watch the miles start to bend no matter where the journey ends…”. With first class vocals, catchy refrains and a fine melody overall, this maintains the very high standard of songwriting and composition set by the previous tracks.

Forever Memories is the most romantic song on the album, something that could have easily been produced as an emotive piano ballad. Instead, it blends a ballad style on the verses with a powerful chorus, retaining a clever balance between traditional pop and modern EDM throughout. The hip hop style beat in the middle eight section adds further variety before closing out with the very strong title refrain. The lyrical metaphor of a relationship being remembered like scenes of a film is also strongly poetic and effective.

The album closes out with a track designed for the dance floor, the more earthy and sensual finale, Lips. It grabs you from the opening bars, the lilting rhythms of the tropical sounding synths providing the bedrock for another commanding vocal performance. After a seductive verse, it explodes into the euphoric chorus with its irresistible vocal hook: “I think I wanna be on your lips tonight…”. The fizzy synth riff that counterpoints the vocals gives the track a sonic edge and musical tension. Breaking down for the middle section, it builds back up like a great dance track should and ends with refrains of the incredibly catchy chorus hook.

Overall, this is a fabulous sequel to The Infinity Cove Sessions first installment. As well as being a singer of the finest calibre, he’s able to write songs that have the pop nous of The Weeknd along with the breadth and sophistication of an artist like Frank Ocean. In short, Sir Magnus has proven his prolific and consistent qualities once again and has huge global potential.

VERDICT = 9.2 out of 10

Alex Faulkner

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