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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Gordon Avenue

Broken Pieces Make The Beautiful Things

Review by Larry Toering

This northwest band is the brainchild of Gordon Avery, and they're well known by their crowd for their engaging performances and infectious melodies. Influenced by everyone from Foo Fighters to Tupac, they manage to blend all the right grooves to satisfy their loyal following. Here they bring it all to the studio and come up with an artistically crafted CD. It's all a very positive musical achievement.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Can't Escape

This is an honest little opener in its lyrical approach, with mostly subtle grooves, embellished by some aggro here and there, just to keep it rocking at the right pace.

Heart Strings

A bit of preaching starts this one off, but then that is something to be found throughout the disc, it just wastes no time at this point. Periodic lovely melodies balance out the somewhat chaotic atmosphere and pave the way for a guitar solo, if one can call it that. This is tasty.

One Girl One Day

This has a nice beat to open it, and then things come crashing in as expected. But that is not without maintaining that infectious beat. This has got to be one of the more accessible cuts found on the disc.

Brood Of Vipers (A Little Too Late)

Another beat starts this one off before the bludgeoning vocals threaten to blow the speakers apart, but still with what I would call a menacing charm. This is probably the most complex number here. It’s great stuff that pulls no punches for its audience.

Unbelievable

This is a mid-tempo ballad with a few pick-ups here and there, but otherwise it keeps a solid groove throughout and makes a nice change from the pounding one takes before it. More lovely guitar work rounds this one off as well.

Never Mind

This track stays in the same vein as a few of the prior ones, with a bit more subtlety. It’s almost pop perfect for a change in the proceedings. This is yet another one with accessible potential.

Broken Pieces Make The Beautiful Things

The title track pulls no punches, yet it's still rather accessible somehow. That said, it’s set in a rather all over the place arrangement, with an overall epic outcome.

On My Own

The title track is actually one of the softer tunes to be found here, with only a couple of breaks in tempo, and they sound best this way to my ears. This is great stuff, once again. Picking up the pieces can be a better sight than one might expect, or so the message goes.

Don't Fall In Love With Me

I like the tempo changes here, and it's such a youthful tune. It's another one with that revisiting vibe written all over it. This seems to contain a bit of everything offered up here.

Freakin' Cute

This has an almost bubble gum feel compared to the rest of the disc, and that isn't a bad thing, it's just an observation of the sore thumb variety. It still fits either way, so nothing is lost in the process. It's just as likable as anything else here, just not as strong.

Stephanie's Song

Another beautifully soft number closes the set. , Again, it works oh so well, as Gordon Avenue's best attribute just might be their melancholy side.

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