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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Mike Henderson

White Arrow Project

Review by Gary Hill

Featuring a couple members of Djam Karet, one might expect this disc to sound like that outfit. It does not. However, it is some incredibly cool and accessible progressive rock. A lot of this is folk based, but it definitely exudes prog throughout. Depending on the track comparisons to Hawkwind, Pink Floyd or Renaissance and others apply.

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
Never be the same

The acoustic guitar motif that starts this off feels a bit like Pink Floyd. As it builds out, though, those echoes are removed. The vocals have an almost soulful texture to them, but the music that flows over the top is more akin to modern progressive rock. This is a melodic and powerful slab of prog. There’s a little keyboard bit that ends the track.

Rage
A more purely acoustic rocker, this feels quite hard edged and a little bluesy. As the other instrumentation enters, it reinforces that observation. It wouldn’t be wholly out of the question to make comparisons to Lenny Kravitz here. There is some tasty slide guitar to be had on this number, too.
Lasso
Pink Floyd certainly seems to be an influence here. Much of the track calls to mind that band’s Animals album. The female vocals bring a different sound to the table, too, though. In addition some of the keyboards add in other elements. This is one of the highlights of the set. It really gets very powerful.
Stone wall
Another standout, Pink Floyd, Hawkwind and even Yes seem to blend on this. The vocals bring a more straightforward mainstream element, though.
Emergence
A slow moving and powerful instrumental, this has a lot of world music built into it. It is quite an intriguing number.
Starting over
Rocking out more than some of the other music here, the progressive rock is certainly not lost. While the comparisons to Pink Floyd would again be appropriate, that’s more of a starting point and there is some Hawkwind on display, too.
Can’t wait anymore
The gentle female vocals are pretty. The acoustic based music at first creates an ambient texture. While the acoustic delivery isn’t altered the cut begins to take on more power. After a time other instruments join and it turns into a real progressive rocker. It drops back down for a time later, but then comes back up. There is some killer guitar soloing on this further down its musical path.
Equinox
Imagine combining Alan Parsons with Enigma. You’ll have a pretty good idea of what this tasty instrumental sounds like. It works out into some strange keyboard sounds to end.
Goddess
Intricate and pretty, this is another cool tune. It’s more folk rock like than some of the other stuff here, and perhaps less progressive. As it continues, though, more prog elements are added. In some ways this is similar to the mellower side of Renaissance meets an early Heart ballad.
Continuum
Another instrumental, this combines progressive rock with ambient and world music elements for great effect. It’s a cool tune. At times there are also hints of Trevor Rabin era Yes in this and it works through a couple of changes.
Read my mind
This is the least prog-like cut on show here. It’s more of a folk rock ballad, but some of the overtones convey some progressive rock textures.
Summertime
More proggy than the previous one, there’s a cool rock groove to the number, too.
 
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