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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Glass Wave

Glass Wave

Review by Gary Hill

This might not be the most obvious choice for progressive rock, but it surely fits from my point of view. It’s got ties to jazz, jam band music and even folk and psychedelia, but it’s delivered in a blend that’s unique and intriguing. World music even shows up here and there. This is very creative and artistic music, but yet it’s understated. The songs, for the most part are based on literature. All of that lends itself to a “thinking person’s” type of music. The female lead vocals are varied and intriguing. This is a great disc, whether you buy it fitting under progressive rock or not.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Balena

Starting with what sounds like whale song, this is a pretty instrumental that’s got some folk rock and bits of space and classical built into it. It’s a nice introductory piece that runs less than a minute and a half.

Echo

A mellow introduction leads to a rocking tune that’s got lots of progressive rock, some psychedelia and some modern rock in the mix. The nearly spoken vocals add an interesting twist to the cut. This is intriguing and quite tasty. There’s an especially tasty guitar solo (almost a bit surf music at times, but with hints of David Gilmour and others, too) built into this killer cut.

Creature

A slowly building balladic cut, this calls to mind The Grateful Dead a bit. It’s rather moody, but definitely more progressive rock oriented than comparisons to the Dead might convey.

Lolita

A rather funky bass line starts this and the band build on this into one of the more purely rocking tunes to this point in the set. There’s a decent amount of jazz crammed into this piece and the smoking guitar solo is quite cool. It’s a great tune that’s a nice change of pace.

Nausicaa

A gentle and intricate cut, this seems to combine mainstream rock, prog and space rock into a balladic piece that’s very tasty. The melodic guitar solo on this piece is quite exploratory.

Helen

There’s a definite world music texture to this and some jazz. They take it through a number of changes and alterations and there’s also quite a bit of jam band sound built into this piece.

Ophelia

Combining a 1960s folk rock ethos with some psychedelic and post prog, this is another tasty cut that’s quite unique and unusual and quite entertaining. We get some especially entertaining instrumental interplay mid-track.

Mrs Bennet

This has more energy and a good deal of funk on board. It’s a cool tune with another especially tasty melodic guitar solo.

Freud

Mellow and a bit bluesy, this is tasty and calls to mind early Pink Floyd just a little. There’s a rather Grateful Dead-like instrumental section in the middle of this understand piece.

Annabel Lee

A pretty and balladic motif with a bit of a gloomy sound is used as the backdrop for this telling of the classic Edgar Allan Poe poem.  There’s a rather creepy (and yet very cool) interlude mid-track, then the arrangement gets more power and the real progressive rock leanings are more apparent. There’s another smoking hot melodic guitar solo. This is arguably the strongest piece on show.

Moby Dick

The intricate balladic music that opens this makes me think of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. As the song moves out it resembles that kind of sound, too, but the more powered up type of track – like something from Four Way Street. They move it more hard rocking later and take into almost fusion territory with some serious RIO elements further down the road. It moves down to a mellow, slow moving section that’s got plenty of old school psychedelia built into it. The instrumental section later combines the sounds we’ve heard to that point with some jazz and space rock and even a bit of classical music. It works out from there to a playful little interlude before the guitar takes a smoking hot melodic solo. Appropriately, both given the theme of the piece and in serving as a bookend, some whale song appears as the track fades out.

 
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