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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Ian Lloyd

In the Land of O-de-PO

Review by Gary Hill

Why isn’t Ian Lloyd a household name? The guy has been featured on some amazing projects. First off, he was in the band Stories and was the voice responsible for their huge hit “Brother Louie”. That’s not all by a long shot, though. He was on Jonathan Elias’ album Requiem for the Americas and also provided some vocals on Yes’ Union album. He showed up on almost every album Foreigner ever recorded. Those are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his credentials. This is Lloyd’s most recent solo album and I’m putting it under the progressive rock heading – because most of the music here is at least partly prog rock and because he’s been involved in some prog projects over the years. It’s a great album and I like it a lot.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Frogpond
This trippy bit of weirdness is less than a minute long. It sounds like a psychedelic version of a frog pond.
Wonderful World
This one powers out into a fast paced and proggy bit of power-pop. I wouldn’t compare it to any particular artist, but yet there are pieces of various musical styles including glam rock here. It’s a tasty tune.
City of Dreams
Feeling like it comes directly out of the number that preceded it, this is more purely progressive rock oriented, but still has a lot of that power-pop element on display. There’s a killer keyboard solo on this and a tasty guitar one, as well. There also some hints of Steve Howe-like guitar work at points and some Hawkwind-oriented keyboard sounds. 
O-de-Po
The title track (or as close as we get), this rocker has some hip hop built into it along with some funk and yet there are still sounds (glam and progressive rock) from the previous cuts here. It’s a high energy rocker that’s modern and fun. 
Side by Side
A more purely progressive rock tune, the musical arrangement here is multi-layered and complex. We get more of those Hawkwind-like keyboards and some killer guitar sounds. 
Hi2Fly
I’m not sure I’d call this some of this one progressive rock at all. It’s high energy and rather soulful. The rhythmic textures remind me of hip hop but the vocals are very rock and roll. There are some bits of sound here and there that feel like prog rock, but overall this is more straightforward than that. 
Sintro
“Sintro” is literally just a sound effects dominated piece of weirdness that serves as the intro to “Rip It Out”. It’s only 23 seconds long.
Rip It Out
Here’s a harder rocking number. It’s still got plenty of progressive rock in the mix, but it’s also very glam oriented. This one earns a parental advisory for the lyrical content. There’s a killer psychedelia meets hard rocking neo-classically tinged jamming section later in the piece. 
Heat
This one is definitely more purely progressive rock oriented than a lot of the stuff here – and yet there’s almost a 1980’s Alice Cooper vibe to some of this. The melodic and soaring chorus really pulls it into the progressive rock zone, though. There’s a little echoey segment later that reminds me a little of Yes. I also make out Whitesnake on the outro.
Brother Louie
Originally done by Lloyd with his band Stories, I’ve always loved this tune. The main musical themes are preserved, but this is in a more modern electronic pop motif. I like it, but not as much as the original.
Sensetize
The first of two bonus tracks, this is very much just keyboards, voice and percussion. There’s an almost movie soundtrack element to it. I like this number a lot. 
Island
A harder rocking piece, in a lot of ways this reminds me of something from Peter Gabriel’s solo catalog. That said, there are points on this where I could swear that Jon Anderson was guesting. Some of this feels like it could have been a solo piece from that vocalist, too. There are some weird sound effects to end this and then we get some silence and other musical bits rise up beyond as a bit of a “hidden track”.
 
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