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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Ray Tarantino

Recusant

Review by Gary Hill

This is a pleasant disc with moments of brilliance. While the musical motifs change pretty dramatically from one point in the set to another there’s still a consistency and cohesiveness here. It’s listenable and tasty – but not really stellar.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Recusant
Acoustic guitar based elements drive the first part of this song in fine style. It's an alternative rocker that's rather catchy and compelling. The chorus rises up to solid melodic rock sounds. It works between those two styles as it moves forward. In some ways this song calls to mind Coldplay.
So Easy

A catchy little number this is less powered up than the latter parts of the first number. There’s almost a Bob Dylan electric band feeling to this to me. There is a Beatles-like guitar break, too, though.

Riding Rhymes

There’s a killer retro rock mode to this. It’s my favorite track to this point. It rocks out with a definite roots rock texture and yet still has some of the same elements we heard on the first couple pieces.

Into the End

I’m a sucker for this kind of emotional, slow moving ballad. This is a great cut and my favorite on the set. There’s a killer bluesy retro texture to this and even some hints of prog rock in some of the outer edges of the arrangement. It gets more powerful as they carry on and I love the flute solo.

Keep Walking On

The Radiohead styled alternative rock sounds open this, but it moves out to a more purely melodic, more alternative pop sound to carry forward. In a lot of ways this might be the most mainstream cut here. It’s a nice change of pace but doesn’t really do that much for me. Still, the harmonica is a nice touch. There’s also a section on here where the vocals make me think of Bob Dylan.

Some Kind of Sweet Love

Here we have a bluesy sort of piano and vocal ballad. There’s some more of that Dylan effect on this.

Alibis and Crimes

This killer rocker is another highlight of the set. There’s both a bluesy texture to this and some funk. It’s catchy and tasty. There’s a tasty guitar solo on this number, too.

Gypsy Acrobat

One of the more instantly accessible cuts on the disc, this is another highlight of the set. It’s a hard rocker, but also includes a killer acoustic guitar solo dominated interlude.

Back to the Land of Regrets

A mellower number, this is a rather bluesy, slow, balladic piece. It’s a good tune.

Summer Space
A rather soaring ballad, you’d get something similar to this if you were to combine U2 with Bruce Springsteen and Radiohead.
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