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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Brian David

Up Down Sideways

Review by Gary Hill

Fans of melodic pop rock based in the folky singer songwriter tradition will embrace this new release. Brian David has put together an EP that showcases a mature songcraftsmanship and musical talent. This music is catchy, but artistically valid. While there isn't a lot of new musical ground being broken here, when it's done this well that's only an extremely minor loss. For more information check out David on the web at www.briandavidband.com.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Up Down Sideways
The way this opens reminds me of early (pre Buckhingham Nicks) Fleetwood Mac. As it moves out into a bouncing, folky, alternative rock mode, it loses that texture, but gains a lot of drama and “oomph.” This is a strong cut with a catchy hook and some great percussive textures. It makes for a good opener.
Only Be Lying
David slows it down a bit here with this more ballad like number. This is pretty and evocative. It has more emotion than the opener and does power out a bit later. It makes for a nice change up. The chorus on this one is especially effective. This cut is catchy and would definitely be a great choice for first exposure.
Another Mistake
Here we find David more in the folky ballad-like territory. I like this one a lot, but it is a bit too similar to the track that preceded it.
World Killer
This one rocks out a bit more than the two songs that come directly before it. It's actually one of the highlights of the disc with a catchy, swirling sound and a killer arrangement. This one is another great choice for an introduction. The construction of the chorus in particular is stellar.
Was Everything
The most ballad like sound of the disc leads this one off, and this is a sedate and pretty number. It almost feels like it could have been the ballad on an old hair metal band album. While it's good, I think it's kind of the weakest piece on show here. The more potent guitar solo based section later is a nice touch.
Million Miles an Hour
Percussion is the first order of business here. As the group launch into the song proper it's in a solid melodic rock mode that makes this the best piece on the disc. That also makes it another choice for “first glance.” It's a great pick for a closer. It's powerful and catchy – that's a great combination.
 
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