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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Mark Clarke

Moving to the Moon

Review by Gary Hill

This disc might not be the most obvious choice for progressive rock inclusion. While a lot of the album is more straightforward classic rock of one type or another, though, only one piece here doesn’t have any progressive rock. Some songs are certainly more proggy than others. All in all, this is quite a strong release that should appeal to fans of classic rock and prog alike, as long as they come into it with open minds. One would definitely expect great music, though from Clarke. He was a member of such groups as Uriah Heep and Natural Gas.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
One Of These Days

There’s a killer power pop sound to this track. It calls to mind Cheap Trick quite a bit. It’s a lot of fun. The weird thing, though, is when it drops out to a section that calls to mind Jon Anderson solo work or even Yes. The interesting thing is, while it goes back to the section that preceded it, the instrumental section that closes the piece out has a lot in common with Trevor Rabin era Yes.

A Cowboy's Song
The main riff that drives this calls to mind Led Zeppelin. Yet, there are also Yes-like changes and alterations on this. The vocals call to mind The Beatles. It gets taken out to another mellow instrumental section that is quite Yes-like, then that gets powered up into more Yes-like territory.
Without You
Mix the Beatles with Cheap Trick and you’ll have a good idea what the bulk of this piece is like. If there is a cut without any progressive rock on it, this is it.
Modeleine
This is closer to the kind of melodic modern progressive rock that is part of the repertoire of bands like Porcupine Tree. There is a more straightforward rock sound to a lot of this, too, though. We get a a couple symphonically styled progressive rocks jam at various points in the track, too.
You Save The Day
A balladic piece, this feels very much like Pink Floyd meets Porcupine Tree and RPWL. It’s quite pretty and dramatic.
The Falling
There’s a lot of The Who on this, but also some Yes and some Beatles and a lot of modern melodic progressive rock. It’s another balladic piece and another that’s quite powerful and yet quite catchy, too. Of course, that section makes up the first minute and a half or so of the track. After that it powers out into a jam that’s sort of like a proggier Cheap Trick. From there, though, it moves out into a jam that is very definitely influenced by The Who. The thing is, when the vocals come in they call to mind some of the Chris Squire dominated portions of modern Yes. From there we get one of the most purely progressive rock jams of the whole album and it works through a couple changes before powering back out into a more powerful version of the Who/Yes segment. The guitar solos like crazy as the cut goes into its fade out.
Heaven and Hell
The majority of this cut is fairly mellow and balladic, feeling like a cross between Pink Floyd and Supertramp. When it powers out for a guitar solo later in the piece, it becomes even more Floyd-like. This is an evocative and powerful piece of music. It is straightforward, but also deceptively complex.
Movin' to the Moon
The song proper on this is very much like Cheap Trick with a progressive rock vibe added to it. There’s an instrumental section later that feels kind of like ZZ Top with a prog rock edge.
Then Forever Comes
This is perhaps less proggy than some of the other music. It has a definite classic rock texture. U2 might be heard at times. There’s also a lot of country music at points in the mix. Still, the jam that closes it feels a bit like modern Yes.
A Little Something
Less than a minute in length, this balladic number is quite Beatles-like.
 
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