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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Rod Kinny

Higher Self

Review by Gary Hill

The easiest thing to pin on this CD is the singing. It sounds very much like The Bee Gees. There are times where the music resembles that, but the arrangements are all over the place. That said, overall, the disc sits close enough to progressive rock to get it pegged there. Only a handful of tracks are purely prog, but the rest is close enough that I’m OK with setting it there. Mind you, I had it under “non prog” at first. Whatever you call it, though, this is an entertaining disc that’s both catchy and meaty. It’s compelling while not requiring a lot of effort in terms of thought processes. It should appeal to prog rock fans, but there’s enough classic rock and AOR to earn it fans outside that circle.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Beyond the Impossible
Jazz meets R & B on this tasty cut.  It reminds me of some sort of mix of Pablo Cruise and Earth Wind and Fire.
Higher Self
There’s more of a pure rock sound to this, but with a real melodic edge –closer to progressive rock. Of course, it’s still got a pop rock texture pervading it.
Between Two Worlds
The vocals fit the music here as this feels like the balladic side of The Bee Gees. There is a little bit of a progressive rock element to the track, though. 
Old Into New
A jazzy, bouncy, lilting, acoustic guitar ballad, this has an old rag-time feeling to it. It reminds me of some of the old-fashioned music Queen used to be so fond of doing. 
Infinite Love
There’s definitely a big chunk of progressive rock in this piece, but it’s mainly a straight ahead pop rock song. 
Water to Wine
Take the last cut and turn it to pretty much pure progressive rock and you’ll understand what this feels like. If the whole album were like this I wouldn’t have debated putting it in progressive rock. In a lot of ways this reminds me of Yes. There is, though, a little bit of funk on the later portions of this piece. 
London Town
More of a pure pop rock cut, this is tasty, but perhaps not up to the par of some of the rest of the material. That said, there’s a guitar solo dominated instrumental section that is quite tasty and blends progressive rock and the blues. 
Infinite Love (be free)
Here’s another track that, by itself, would land this CD firmly into the progressive rock category. It’s a mellow and slowly building number, but it’s also very progressive rock in nature. At over six and a half minutes in length, this is also the longest track on show here. 
Competition
The Beatles meet early Bee Gees in this tasty number. It’s catchy and yet a little proggy. I can also make out tiny hints of country music in the mix here. There’s also some cool violin work on this piece. 
Prime Mover
Here’s another that’s pretty much purely progressive rock, but in a mellow manner. It reminds me a bit of “Infinite Love,” but I also make out some Crosby Stills and Nash on the vocal arrangement and a little Rush (think “Natural Science” on the guitar).
 
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