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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Karen Single Band

Wide Open

Review by Larry Toering

This is a mind melting story of the sensational variety. Canadian singer / keyboard player Karen Single and Hungarian guitarist Attila Novak are featured on this spectacular CD with a story that begs for a second chapter. On Wide Open they give everyone from Bon Jovi to Pat Benatar a run for their money while standing up to any prog-level band of the decade. A special recording with a burning tale, the listener is taken on a thrill ride, an intense journey through the corners of the mind. AOR meets metal-prog and the two work very well together on this great recording.

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
Hello

A little girl's voice sets things up in a narrative fashion that is almost dehiscent of "Twilight Zone.” She speaks a few words about the mission on which she is about to embark.

Wide Open
No time is wasted in getting to the point, the story is written all over this track. The fun begins.
Runaway
This is a fantastic track with sweet melodic guitar throughout. This girl is on the street and on her way.
Restless
Lost and all alone as she goes to bed, the feeling of the unknown overcomes her and one is starting to get the picture. It's easy to detect by now that this is going to be good throughout, it's that obvious.
Ready For Love
Sick and tired of being the lonely one, she goes into predator mode on the search for love, and absolutely ready for love.  Sly and seductive lyrics carry the tune into a cosmic swirl of unison soloing between guitar and keyboards.
Wild Side
The debauchery sets in and the tripping begins as they wind up in the car, driving the wrong way. What a killer!
High Wired
They arrive at the party and the drama begins. A blistering guitar solo attempts to burn the ears off. This is another excellent track.
Eye Of The Storm
A lovely soft and windy intro takes the listener into the eye with grace and perfection as that's where things are at this point. This is another great rocker with melodies to spare, right down to the guitar bit at the end.
Breakdown
Anger and rage take over and the peak continues to mesmerize. This is on par with the best tracks here. “Smoking hot,” is all I can say, this has such an infectious vibe! Here we're treated to a bass solo as well. This track alone can speak for the whole album, but there is so much more.
Reflections
A piano in almost a “Funeral for a Friend” fashion starts off and builds into a lovely ballad.
This Place in Time
By this time the prog factor is sealed, the concept is undeniable. Things change here almost drastically and it makes no secret a threaded story is being told throughout. This is completely breathtaking.
Dreamland
This is a sweet and captivating tune featuring brilliant guitar playing and fantastic harmony.  It's just so easy on the ears as the wind chimes take it away.
Wake - Up!
Before getting too lost in the dreamland it's time to pay some more attention.
Stay Away
Escape is now inevitable, upon the next morning she is off into the sun. This is power galore!
WWT LYT
Yet more intense power is displayed and the future is “Wide Open” for her and her young. A perfect rocking tale is told in the key of prog.
 
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