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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Arianna Solare

Book of Us

Review by Gary Hill

This might not be the most obvious choice as a progressive rock CD. God knows, I catch enough headaches from readers and labels about what I do and don’t call prog rock, and,(although there are those who might disagree) I think I have a more liberal definition than many. I tend to feel that if music is creative and interesting and touches many musical styles without sitting nearly exclusive in any one, that it qualifies as progressive rock – assuming there is some “rock” music in the mix. Well, for that reason I’ve included this CD here. It’s sort of a melodic alternative rock in some ways, but it’s just as much prog rock as modern Radiohead, in fact maybe more so. Whatever you call it, though, this is a cool EP that showcases a very talented and rather unique act. I like it a lot.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Lift Me Up
This sort of saunters in with a motif that has as much in common with Suzanne Vega as Pink Floyd. The vocals have an interesting alternative rock styling at times. This is catchy and yet powerful.
Book Of Us
Picture Patti Smith and Mazzy Star taken more progressive rockish and you have a good idea what this beautiful, but gloomy, piece feels like. This track gets very potent and is loaded with emotion. While I liked the opener, this one is even stronger. I like the instrumental segment quite a bit, but the whole song is simply wonderful.
As I Walk The Edge
This has an alternative rock approach with some Americana thrown in. I’ll admit that most of this song probably doesn’t have much prog at all in it. It’s still every bit as good as the rest of the stuff on this disc, though, and you might hear some Pink Floyd in this. The guitar solo is especially tasty, and the chordings that accompany it bring in both psychedelia and more pure prog.

We Are The Sun
This is a bit more rock and roll, with a rather crunchy approach. It’s another that might derail the intent to put them in progressive rock, but one song does not a CD make. This is a cool alternative rocker.
Are You Coming With Me
Folk and rock mingle in this arrangement. It’s got a lot of that college rock sound. The guitar solo section is a soaring one that brings in more of those psychedelic and prog rock textures. In fact, that section reminds me of instrumental prog bands like Djam Karet just a bit.
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