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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Anyone's Daughter

Wrong

Review by Josh Turner

There is no doubt Anyone's Daughter makes great music. The real question is whether they are mainstream or progressive. It takes a few tracks to get a handle on them before you can even attempt to answer this question. I'd go with the former, but there might be some of the latter. Depending on your thoughts, you may be persuaded to sway one way or the other.

They have the songwriting sensibilities of pop and the edge of the eighties. While there are meandering keyboards worked into the mix, the bass is mean and modern. It's heavier than usual for this style of music. The guitars, on the other hand, have a lot of character and rhythm. While there is familiarity in the music, there is something original in there as well.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
The Wrong
It's always difficult to choose a song that can properly open an album. This one builds slowly, taking its bloody time to overcome inertia. Once it does, it's pure bliss and it's catchy. You'll be curious where it's going, but once it arrives, it is highly engrossing. This, my friend, is a great choice to kick off the album.
Miscellaneous
This song is sundry sun-dried satisfaction. While the instrumentations and passages are simple, the track features many different beats with a tide that turns often. This is cooked until the center is warm and it's served with several tasty sides. It comes complimentary with a mishmash of golden hash browns and caramelized veggies. The individual sections are undemanding, but together, the tiny portions properly mesh. It is buttered, stir-fried, and mixed to order, but the progressive middle is easily the most enjoyable part of the dish.
Happy Go Lucky
This is an upbeat version of Spock's Beard's "Stranger in a Strange Land". It's rock, but it's also a little bit country. After some investigation, the diagnosis shows a patient that's suffering from split-personality syndrome. It seems to be sharing a mind between a hillbilly, a punk, and a rocker. Many of these elements work well in their respective genres. Here, however, they work with the synergy of a single squadron. The middle section is assisted by the electric motors of Matthias Ulmer's synthesizers. Once the bridge is lowered, traffic floods the lanes and congests the streets. Rush hour subsides and traffic quickly returns to normal. The song uses just about every shaker from the spice rack, making it one of the highlights of the album. I'm sure it will be a favorite among fans. I've replayed this tantalizing tune more times than one can count on two hands.
Far Away
This ballad has passion written all over it. You can almost feel the infatuation. It's elegant in its simplicity, easy to follow, and sung very well. The brief bit of harmony secretes sheer happiness. There are power chords accompanied by a piano that's busy escalating through the scales. Rather than hit us with a wall of sound, they present us with a sea of tranquility.
Fade Out
This is a close second (or third, it's hard to say with all the great songs on the album) in my list of favorites. It shows the band has the potential to make many original tunes. It has a Celtic vibe with a behavior that's both bombastic and moody. It reminds me of Sting's lesser known numbers. While Andre Carswell is by no means a carbon-copy of Gordan Sumner (or Steven James for that matter), his charismatic voice is quite commanding. He doesn't wow you with the high notes. That's not his style. Instead, he impresses us with tact and demeanor. He's one cool crooner.
Your Time
Every time I hear this song, two big hits come to mind. The first is Rick Astley's popular "Never Gonna Give You Up". The second is "The King of Wishful Thinking" off the Pretty Woman soundtrack. Still, it is not as slack as either of these tunes. There is a little more attitude and aggression in some of its approach. You could say its behavior is almost a little belligerent. There is also an air of Billy Joel's "Second Wind" in the signal it's transmitting.
Out of This World
In some ways, this is the best song on the album. Like the first song, it takes its time setting up. Like "Happy Go Luck" and "Fade Out", it has many invigorating parts. This is another song that reminds me of Sting. Anders sings like the chief of The Police, only his voice has different characteristics in its tone and pitch. His voice is a little deeper, but it's a good one and it works wonders within the context of this song.
Without You (The Way It Was)
We get another ballad, but this one goes less in the style of Sting and probably more in the direction of Styx. Take your pick between "Babe" and "Lady" as either one will get you within the vicinity. The song is serene, sublime, and subdued. This one doesn't ever sail away, but it makes for a peaceful cruise.
Helios Reloaded
This song is livelier than the last. This too has a Rick Astley feel as far as what's being delivered in the vocal department. The keyboards really go to town as the bass and drums try to keep up with them. There are subtle overdubs that create an interesting aural illusion. The guitars are fused in ever so faintly. This was a good idea when it came to engineering the engine driving this song, because the other instruments are so effective at the front. This cut really chugs along.
Out of This World (Radio Edit)
There is very little difference from this version and the one found earlier on. Somewhere, possibly in the chorus, something got lopped off. This is short, but in some ways it works better. It's like taking a succulent steak, slicing off the fat, and enjoying the lean trimmings that remain. Since it is one of the better songs on the album and probably the best song to introduce to new fans, it works well as a radio edit. In general, I liked every song on the album. From this point on, as long as they're of age, I'll be keeping an eye out for Anyone's Daughter.
 
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