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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Jeremy Morris

Alive

Review by Gary Hill

Although there’s no question that not everything here fits as progressive rock, there’s a lot of prog throughout and Jeremy’s other music is prog, so this one’s getting included in that category. The Beatles and Klaatu are the dominating musical influences here, but there are plenty of other things heard throughout. This is an entertaining release that’s catchy and powerful.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
I Don't Want To See You Cry

Keyboards starts things here then balladic musical motifs join as the cut begins to build. A little before the one minute mark it pounds out in hard rocking, nearly metallic fury. Wind sounds add a space rock texture. The vocals create a definite acid-rock kind of element. The track works through a number of changes alternating between progressive rock and almost metallic structures. The wind effects and other keyboards lend a lot to the mix. There’s a short segment later that even feels a bit like early Judas Priest. It shifts to a weird little processed section to end.

Love I Never Knew
Prog rock merges with an almost power-pop sound to create the musical motif here. There is definitely a bit of Beatles-vibe at times. References to Klaatu are not out of the question here.
Translated
The guitar sound and even the progression here has a real psychedelic rock texture. The cut shifts to nearly metallic from there. Power pop is certainly in view in terms of musical references here. It works out further down the road into some more purely progressive rock directions with definite jazz leanings built into it.
Toward The Sky
Another that starts off rather like old school heavy metal, this calls to mind “Green Manalishi,” but more the Fleetwood Mac version than the Judas Priest one. It gets some definite Beatles-like elements added to the mix as it continues. This is far less prog than the songs to this point. It’s more like a psychedelically tinged pop rock.
Child Inside
An electronic percussion bit opens this and holds it. As the vocals enter they bring a Beatles or Klaatu texture. Musically comparison’s to Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” would be somewhat warranted, but so would glances at Genesis “Mama.” New sounds are added to the mix later, expanding the arrangement. There are some backwards tracked bits and this is quite a cool piece.
Mark's Song
This instrumental is less than two minutes in length. It’s gentle and pretty and the keyboards drive much of it.
Alive
Decidedly progressive rock oriented, guitar soars over the top of this and the whole thing calls to mind both Yes and Genesis. It’s another short (less than a minute and a half) instrumental.
Heaven at Midnight
Coming in hard rocking almost to the point of heavy metal, this shifts towards a proggy kind of psychedelia. There’s a scorching guitar solo later in the track. This is probably the least purely progressive rock tune on show here, but there is still prog to be heard in the mix.
Monday Morning
Bouncy and mellow, there is definitely a lot of Beatles on this, along with Klaatu.
Turn My Head Around
There’s definitely an early 1970s pop rock sound. I can hear The Raspberries on this. It’s probably not very prog oriented, leaning more to that pop sound with some old school Beatles built into the mix. It’s a great tune, nonetheless.
The Key
A pretty and delicate ballad, there is a Beatles vibe to this, but it’s also quite progressive rock in nature. ELO and Klaatu are both worth mentioning.
Part of Me/Part of You
John Lennon is probably a bigger reference here, solo work, than are the Beatles as a group. As it continues it works out to more pure progressive rock with keyboards and other elements moving the arrangement along through some great wonderment. It is one of the longest pieces on show here, and a very cool one.
Alive Again
Genesis and Yes are certainly valid references on this number. Around the minute and a half mark it shifts to a balladic motif and then it grows out from there. The vocals bring a lot of that Klaatu kind of vibe. Around the four-minute mark this moves to musical themes from the song “Alive” heard previously.
The Second Coming (Bonus Track)
Backwards tracked (or otherwise processed) sounds make up this cut. It’s very progressive rock like, but also quite weird and a little unsettling.
 
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