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Like 1999's Full Circle, Marathon offers little more than recycled rock clich├ęs and unfulfilling musical hooks. While 25 years into their existence Saga still had a following, they had become an obvious caricature of themselves -- an unintended Spinal Tap. But unlike on Full Circle, there appears to be a discernible degree of intensity and passion in these songs. Amid the predictable sounds and techniques utilized here, one song, "You Know I Know (Chapter 12)," incorporates a clever instrumental passage, although it's not nearly enough to elevate this album from its overriding murk and mire.

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