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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Firefall

Acoustic - Colorado to Liverpool - A Tribute to The Beatles

Review by Gary Hill

Firefall, a bit of a legend in the 1970’s, are still around and kicking and this is their latest CD. The disc is a collection of acoustic renditions paying tribute to The Beatles. I suppose that being a Beatles fan would definitely add to your appreciation of this CD, but I’m also sure that it won’t disappoint any fans of Firefall. They show that they still have what it takes to produce some great mellow rock and even bring their own touch to Beatles classics.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Within You Without You
This track has a great texture. The psychedelic tones of the number are preserved well and perhaps show up even a bit more definitively in this arrangement. I like this a lot.
Girl
Starting with a major French café sound, this one is delivered with a lot of that texture throughout. The vocal performance here is particularly evocative and this is another great rendition.
Norwegian Wood
This one feels a bit more Celtic in this arrangement. I really like it a lot, but part of that might come from the brilliant melody line that the Beatles created here. It’s another fine example of what Firefall have been able to do in terms of breathing a new texture into these old classics.
You’re Gonna Lose That Girl
This one has a more rock sort of structure and a far more developed vocal arrangement. It’s still acoustic, but has a lot more going for it in terms of “rock” sounds. The harmony vocals are all over this one. I’ve never been crazy about really early Beatles, so this one kind of pales a bit for me, but that’s probably got a lot more to do with the source material than the performance. The guitar solo on here is tasty.

Eleanor Rigby
This one is actually one of my favorite Beatles songs. I find that this arrangement tends to lose a bit of the drama and melancholy texture of the original, but so much of that element came from the layers of sound that were woven over the song structure – so it’s understandable. They put in a pretty and solid rendition of the track that still pleases.
Here Comes The Sun
Another very pretty melody makes up this track and this version doesn’t vary a lot from the Beatles’ original rendition. It’s always been a pleasing number and it remains so here.

No ReplyI like the folk meets rock and roll approach and of the earlier Beatles stuff, this one works better for my personal tastes. I wouldn’t say th
I like the folk meets rock and roll approach and of the earlier Beatles stuff, this one works better for my personal tastes. I wouldn’t say that this is a highlight of the disc for me, but it’s quite cool. I think I might like it better than the original.
I Need You
While it has little to do with the performance, if there were a throw away track on the disc, I would think that this is it. It just feels like a pretty generic number from the early 1960’s and doesn’t really stand up to the rest of the material here. They do a good job, but it would be hard to save this one from mediocrity.
Come Together
From the mediocre to the sublime, this has a killer bluesy texture as presented here and feels a bit like Aerosmith meets Bon Jovi in an acoustic motif. It’s one of the highlights of the CD.
I'll Be Back
I like this one. It has a bit more laid back approach than the Beatles version and I think it serves the track well. This is nothing incredibly deep or provocative, but it’s fun.

I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party
Light hearted and bouncy, this is a nice track that has almost a bit of a bluegrass feeling to it. This feeling is intensified on some of the instrumental segments, including the closing outro. While it’s not really a weak track, I wonder if a more potent piece would have done a better job of closing out the festivities.
 
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