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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Lauren Edman

It’s Always the Quiet One

Review by Gary Hill

Electronic music merged with progressive rock along the lines of Kate Bush makes up the bulk of this. There are also world music hints and classical bits. At times one might hear Vangelis and certainly Tori Amos is also a valid reference. However you look at it, though, Edman has produced quite a tasty disc here. Fans of both Kate Bush and Tori Amos are the most likely fanbase for this, but anyone who enjoys electronic based prog is sure to find something to like.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Wasting

There’s a cool rhythmic component that opens this. The vocals come over the top gently and the track builds out from there. It’s got a lot of electronic and atmospheric elements in the mix. Comparisons to Kate Bush and Tori Amos are well-deserved.

Slate

Melodic and pretty, this one has a less full arrangement. Those same references in terms of Bush and Amos are even more accurate here. I love the multiple layers of vocals on this tune.

Charge

Synthesizer patterns open this and the cut is built upon that kind of backdrop. While Edman’s vocals aren’t a lot different than on the first two, in some ways this number feels closer to something from Vangelis. I really enjoy some of the melodies on this a lot. It comes close to mainstream pop music in terms of those vocal melodies.

Be the Light

The music that opens this and carries forward is quite atmospheric and electronic. It’s almost classical in some ways. Edman’s vocal performance is particularly passionate and beautiful here.

Sweet Girl

There is almost a jazz meets pop music element to this number. It’s fun and a bit less serious than the earlier pieces.

Red Wings

This cut is slow and delicate in texture. The vocals truly soar on this number.

Desperate Times

A pretty and delicate piece, there is a lot of classical music in the mix here. There’s a child-like innocence to the music. As it continues, though, that nature sort of drops away, leaving a real classical element in place. This is a pretty and powerful cut that’s very different from anything else here, yet still fits.

Silent

Even more classical in nature, the vocals dance across a melody that’s almost all piano. This is pretty and powerful without become overly arranged or even rising above the level that would be considered ballad-like. There are some classical strings as accompaniment, but mostly this is just piano and voice.

This Is It

In a real twist acoustic guitar opens this and it grows up as a ballad-like tune with a real folk pop element to it. There are even some hints of country music later in the number. Overall, though, this fits with the rest of the disc while presenting a different face to it.

She's Not Here

This piece starts with the most sparse and tentative melody of all. It’s bouncy and a bit quirky. It grows up after the first vocal movement, but still retains the same sort of musical textures, with a bit more full arrangement. There are definitely hints of Asian music to be heard in this one. This might not be the most obvious closer for the set, but it works really well in that slot.

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