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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

David Hayes

In with the Old

Review by Gary Hill

David Hayes is a musician from Chicago and this is his debut disc. It features considerable variety and a lot of musical maturity for a first outing. The music, for the most part, fits along the lines of progressive rock, although none of the tracks qualify in terms of being epic in length. This should appeal to progressive rock fans, but also might be of interest to those more interested in classic rock. Overall, it’s an excellent disc that showcases a musician and songwriter with a lot of talent. Hayes is going to be releasing a follow up in the near future and I, for one, am interested in hearing what he does with that one.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Happiness

A mellow and rather playful number, this feels a bit like the Beatles, but also like some of Jon Anderson’s solo works.

Dave's Drive
This instrumental is more of a rocker and much more pure progressive rock. The guitar soloing is especially tasty and there are some cool little twists and turns along the road. There is a killer soaring guitar solo later, too. It wanders close to fusion at times.
Afrodite
Acoustic driven, world music merges with jazz and many other stylings on this playful little piece. There is some tasty piano work and the arrangement gets more involved later.
Pick up the Fone
Another that’s harder rocking, there are definitely some Beatles-like moments here and some smoking hot music. It also shows some hints of funk and jazz. This is one of my favorites on the set.
Lines
This powerhouse instrumental is basically one hundred percent fusion. It’s a real killer, too. At times I’m reminded of Pentwater.
DNA
This is a bit more experimental and mellower. It’s quite definitely pure progressive rock, though. It’s another intriguing number and calls to mind various bands without ever seeming like it copies them. There’s a smoking hot harder rocking movement later that comes close to (but never makes it into) the realm of heavy metal. It again reminds me a bit of Pentwater. It is arguably the most dynamic number on show here.
Jane Ellen
A balladic number, this has much of the same leanings as the opener, but doesn’t sound like that song. That means that it feels rather like The Beatles, but also like the solo work of Jon Anderson.
Aspiring Hand Model

Here we get a short (less than a minute) piece that’s just an answering machine message.

Billie's Hill
This one is a playful folky rocker. It starts slow and gradually increases in speed.
Pasture Prime
A mellow, acoustic guitar based ballad, this is intricate and pretty. It has some Beatles-like elements to it. It gets pretty involved as it continues, but never rises beyond the acoustic arrangement.
 
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