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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Keith Reid Project

The Common Thread

Review by Gary Hill

Make no mistake, I don’t consider this to be a prog rock album. There are a couple songs here that sort of qualify, but the reason this is under prog is because we usually put works from artists who have been in prog bands under “progressive rock.” Such is the case here. Keith Reid is best known for his work in Procol Harum and Chris Thompson was the vocalist in Manfred Mann’s Earth Band.The disc is good, but it plays it too safe to qualify as "great."

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
In God's Shadow
Percussion starts things off and then we’re taken into a mellow balladic piece that reminds me at times of Pink Floyd, but more like Tom Petty.
You're the Voice
This should be more in the realm of what prog fans like, but it’s probably closer to a neo-prog sound. It’s a good rocker with a bit of a jazz vibe.
Heartbreak House
Bob Dylan meets Tom Petty on this cut.
A Common Thread
The title track is a rather bluesy classic rock styled piece of music.
Potters Field
A moody ballad, this is a pretty cut and one that’s more prog-like.
Gold Fever
There’s a bit of a Latin sound to this mellow rocker. It’s another good tune. 
Venus Exploding
Now it wouldn’t be a huge stretch of the imagination to see this as similar to some of the Porcupine Tree music. I also hear some Procol Harum and Manfred Mann in the midst. Of course, there are also hints of Bruce Springsteen. It’s definitely one of the proggier cuts on show here.
The Only Monkey
A funky little jam there’s some reggae in this and also some Rolling Stones. I’d say there’s also a healthy dosage of Spinal Tap in this track. I mean, there is a fine line between clever and stupid, you know? I can't really decide which side this falls on, but it feels a bit silly. I could really imagine seeing the writing credit for this list Tufnell and St. Hubbins. The lyrics (with a couple questionable lines) compares man to the apes and we don’t do well in the view of the words. Of course, when they say that man is the only animal that kills for fun – that’s not true. It’s been shown in other primate behavior. So has warfare. So, honestly, we’re much closer to our cousins than this gives the apes credit for. 
It Might Be Your Heart
Here’s a pretty “let’s save our love” song. It’s evocative and powerful with one of the most effective vocal performances on show. It’s just not overly original. 
Silver Town
Here’s a pretty and poignant track about hard times. It’s certainly relevant to this time in history.
Ninety-Nine Degrees in the Shade
Here we have a bluesy rocker that’s quite tasty.
Too Close to Call
This is another solid rocker. It’s nothing earth shattering, but it’s also quite potent.
Right About Now
A mellower, more open piece of music, this is strong.
 
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