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John Taglieri

True Believer

Review by Gary Hill

Great guitar work is the one consistent factor here. Musically, this has some real variety from power-pop stylings, to metal and proggy things. The opener and closer seem to be the most closely tied songs of the set. This is a strong disc, but the guitar is really what makes it so. It’s not that the songwriting is bad, it’s not. It just doesn’t stand out that well, and the same could be said for the vocal performances.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 3 at

Track by Track Review
Don't Ask Why

Frantic, fast paced jamming opens this thing. The cut has a bit of a modern metal element to it. Overall, though, this is a lot like fast paced Dream Theater with the keyboards taken out and some King’x X added to the mix. It’s a killer rocking number with a great guitar solo.

True Believer
Leaning in the direction of heavy metal, this rocker is more of a mainstream thing. Still it has some elements that call to mind fusion, and there are links to modern metallic prog.
Way Out
This is definitely a mainstream rocker. It has a lot of power-pop built into it. It’s mainstream, rather catchy and a good tune.
Take This Ride
This starts with some of the most metallic sounds of the disc. It works out from there into a mainstream rocker. It’s good stuff, but not a real standout. There are some scorching, more metallic instrumental bits, though.
Above the Sunrise
The opening segment here makes me think of Kiss with a bit more metallic edge. The organ brings a different flavor. When the vocals join, I almost think of Head East. However  you see the influences lying, though, this is another mainstream rocker with both modern and classic sounds built into it.
Mad Mad World
This fast paced number feels very much in line with the opening piece. That makes them great bookends for the disc.  I really love the soaring guitar solo part that leads into some stomping technical soloing.
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