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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Clinton Administration

Take You Higher

Review by Josh Turner

While the Clinton Administration's first disc presented their interpretations of Parliament songs, this outing has them searching back a little further to tackle the work of Sly and the Family Stone. The album is mostly a blues affair, but it is progressive too. It is completely instrumental. It sounds very similar to the first Platypus album When Pus Comes to Shove. The song, "What About the Merch?" comes to the forefront of my mind. These songs could be top contenders to the theme music to the eighties comedy sitcom Night Court. Overall, the album is light-hearted fun. The music would work wonders in the recovery room of a hospital's surgery ward. It is sanitary, brightens the mood, and helps brings its patients out of the anesthesia's trance.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2004 Year Book Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
I Want to Take You Higher
This one has a jumpy beat. There is no catchy hook, but it moves along quickly. There is a great sax solo in the middle section. The keyboards are hot throughout the entire piece. The drums mostly keep rhythm, a little redundant, but the music is incredibly busy. The drummer knows when to keep his hands off a hot plate. The guitar jumps in and out trying to get some screenplay, never forgetting the keyboards are the main attraction. The bass is the character that adds drama and a dimension to a somewhat simple plot.
Family Affair
This is a psychedelic and funky song. It is a little slower than the last. It has more of a self-important strut in its movement. It appropriately has a seventies feel. Welcome to the Car Wash, C.H.I.P.S, and T.J. Hooker. The song is pretty tame. No need to call B.A. Barracus to handle security detail.
Stand!
Even more docile than the last, this almost sounds like the little ditties played during one of those clown acts at the circus. This is the scene where one clown mistakenly hits another with a ladder or dumps a whole bucket of confetti on the crowd after they have been convinced it is pale full of water. The pace picks up as it goes on. Starsky & Hutch are canvassing the streets, showing photos, and tracking down a perp. Towards the end, it borders on Beastie Boys' Sabotage without the rap.
Dance to the Music
Here we encounter an instrumental remake of the Stone song that was redone for the Shrek movie. This iteration actually sounds very close to that version without Eddie Murphy, Camerion Diaz, and Mike Meyer's karaoke. It gets a little meaner and a little funkier in parts. The sax solos bring it to a completely new place.
Everybody Is A Star
This one takes us downbeat from the last. It is pensive and engaging. The guitars sound as if they are being fingered by Eric Clapton himself.
Hot Fun in the Summertime
This is another passive piece. Mr. Rogers is taking some children to the factory to see how crayons are made. The process is drawn out. The musicians embellish upon the subject matter. At the end of the field trip, it is time for a nap. The little tikes float off into their dreams.
Thank You (Falletinme Be Mice Elf Again)
This track takes us every which way but loose. The song sounds a lot like the dial tones, beeps, and static heard when dialing-up up a modem. There is mesmerizing music in the randomness. If you listen closely to the birds, the wind, even the sounds of cars passing by, there is charm to be found in the chaos.
You Can Make It If You Try
There is a lively organ present here. This sounds a lot like gospel. The folks in the crowd are shuffling and dancing. You can almost hear the hallelujahs. You can feel the hands waving back and forth and reaching for the sky.
Sing A Simple Song
This one is animated. While there are no vocals, the sax seems to be singing lead. The guitar takes on the background vocals. It is easy to forget this is an instrumental album. The keys and percussions make some of the strangest sounds on the album.
Everyday People
There is no new ground covered in this piece. It is a short and pleasant wrap-up to an amusing album.
 
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