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Non-Prog CD Reviews

VanVechten Smith

The Bridge

Review by Jeremy Seffens

VanVechten Smith definitely isn't afraid to let his mastery of the guitar show. Knowing how to express his faith in his music, this disc is great for worship.

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
A New Kinda Blue
A new kinda blue must be an upbeat, bright blue with this work. Smith isn't shy with his guitar here, throwing in riff after riff of catchy praise.
He's Coming
This piece reminds one of Bruce Springsteen. It's mellow, but keeps the pace moving.
Faith
Throwing in mostly acoustic work, this cut focuses more on the spiritual aspect of Smith's faith. There are many interesting visuals within the lyrics here.
The Bridge
This title track is a little harder than the others, with some hard hits in spots. The contrasting guitar jams makes this a great song to listen to over and over.
In the Valley
This one displays a bit of the crossover style of Smith. Some of the style here sounds like much of the classic rock from the 70s; the rest reminisces bluegrass, with an upbeat tempo. This interesting combo creates a surprisingly natural sound.
All I Need
A little slower here, the pace moves on, with Debbie Swanger teaming up with Smith on vocals to create a dynamic duet. Halfway through, a guitar riff comes seemingly from nowhere to pick things up, but never letting loose of the delicate balance of vocals.
Can I Dance For You
This piece sounds more like modern worship music, the kind that breaks away from hymnals and lets people get up and dance, which is exactly what this track makes you do.
House Call
Breaking free from the usual instrumentation, this is nothing but a great trumpet solo that gets you feeling the awesome power above, and leading into the next track.
Blessed Are Those
Utilizing the trumpet from before, it underlies the powerful emotion dealt with throughout this number. Even with a powerful guitar solo reminiscing some work not heard since the 80s, the entire tune shows the power given to those who call His name.
Miracles
This composition has a style that sounds like a trip to Mexico, showing the true nature of music: art. It reminds us of the miracles performed by Jesus.
Silence
Another mellow piece, this track shows great contrast again between when to slow down and when to shine. The backup female vocals here add an almost eerie, yet spiritual, undertone to the entire work. This is an excellent way to end the album, with a lingering message as to why we are all here.
 
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