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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Arrica Rose

La La Lost

Review by Gary Hill

Take a singer songwriter type of sound. Give it some country and some Mazzy Star. Now you’ve got a good idea of what this music sounds like. It’s a good CD, although certainly not one for the real rockers. There’s quite a bit of folky music here, and while there’s not a huge amount of variety, it never feels too monolithic.

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
I'd Love to Miss L.A.
The mellow guitar that is at the heart of this is picked and rather intricate. Rose's voice comes over the top with a gentle, understated delivery. The tune is essentially folk music at the start, but it works to more rocking territory as electric guitar joins and the vocals get more spirited. It's a good tune that's rather slow moving.
Uh-huh

Here we get the first real “rock” music of the disc. There’s a definite retro texture to this and a great playful groove. The vocals are waif-like. We even get a bit of scat in the mix.

Little Wars

This moody, folky number has a definite melancholy feeling to it. It reminds me a bit of Mazzy Star at times. The arrangement gets rather lush and pretty at points.

Borderline

The majority of this is in a pretty pure folky sort of mellow motif. Later, though it takes a turn towards rock territory for the outro. The guitar solo on that outro is even a little country-like.

Paper Hearts

Again I can hear Mazzy Star on this. It’s another moody number. It stays fairly mellow, but there are a few soaring moments – well, at least they reach towards the sky.

More Rock n' Roll

Despite the title, this is essentially mellow, nearly country, folk music.

In Time

Intricate and delicate, this is another folk styled number, but it has hints of ambient space music, too.

The Pieces

Mazzy Star and Lone Justice combine in this countrified, mellower tune. It’s gentle and pretty.

We Could All Be Flawless

More Mazzy Star styled psychedelia meets moody folk  is the order of business here. There are still touches of country music and I really like this one a lot. I’d have to say it might be my second favorite cut on show here.

Porcupine in a Petting Zoo

While you wouldn’t know it from the title, the chorus makes this one the title track of the disc. It’s pretty and poignant. While not that far from the previous tune this has a lot more power and majesty. It’s very likely the highlight of the CD.

Break-ups & Commitments
This has a mellow soft rock sound to it. It’s good, but not really a standout. There is a cool, slightly country-styled, extended guitar solo on this piece.
I Hope That I Don't Fall...

Very sedate, this is another that reminds me of Mazzy Star. I like it quite a bit, even if it’s extremely understated.

All My Metaphors
This opens with an acapella section – and parents should be warned of the impending “f bomb.” When the music enters it’s different from the rest of the CD, based on a playful, almost lullaby like keyboard sound. This is pretty and gentle. It’s a nice way to end things.
 
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