Personnel: John Power (vocals, guitar); Liam Tyson (guitar); Peter Wilkinson (bass guitar); Keith O'Neill (drums).
Audio Mixers: Danton Supple; Gil Norton.
Liner Note Author: Terry Staunton.
Recording information: Air Studios, Lyndhurst; Ridge Farm Studios.
Editor: Karl Flaschke.
Photographer: Stefan Ruiz.
Magic Hour doesn't quite live up to the pop forcefulness of Cast's debut album, All Change, but it's still a remarkably firm release nonetheless. Magic Hour's songwriting rises way above 1997's Mother Nature Calls, especially on tracks such as "Alien" and "Chasing the Day." But it's "Beat Mama's effusive pop flow and well-suited guitar and vocal partnership that gave Cast a Top Ten hit in the U.K., brandishing a firm, streamlined sound in the same vein as Paul Weller, but only to a certain extent. John Power, the La's former bass player, is extremely sharp throughout, giving "Dreamer" and "Company Man" added depth in both his guitar playing and his singing. Overall, though, Peter Wilkinson gains the most attention, sounding more professional and more focused than he did while he was with Shack and Supercharge. Magic Hour's attributes are created in the congenialness of the tracks and how they unfold, not gaining attention right away but emitting a subtle but sturdy English pop/rock charm as the album progresses. Even though none of the songs can match the strength of "Guiding Star" from the All Change album, Magic Hour still stands up as the group's second best recording. ~ Mike DeGagne