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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Crazy Mary

Dreaming in Brilliant Color

Review by Gary Hill

This is quite a cool release. There’s a lot of classic rock built into it, but overall the musical mélange seems to fall somewhere along the lines of a psychedelic progressive rock. Violin features fairly frequently, lending a rather unique flavor. However you lay out the musical influences here, this is quite a tasty disc that works well.

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
Come On Let's Go

A hard rocking sound opens this, rather like some alternative rock piece. As the vocals join it starts to come closer to a glam rock turned progressive piece. This is energetic and quite strong.

Cup of Tea
The harder rocking sounds are stripped away here. This feels a bit like a melodic psychedelic tune with some jazz elements in play. It’s bouncy and fun and has a tasty guitar solo in the midst of it.
Lonesome As a Train
Songs about trains evoke both country music and the blues. Interestingly enough there are hints of both here. Still, the cut feels very much like the kind of psychedelic rock Jefferson Airplane used to do merged with prog. Violin adds a lot to the piece. The vocal arrangement is also one of the coolest and the bass line is great.
Song for a New Year
There’s a quirky sound to this piece. The lyrics are all about problems in the modern world and seem pretty well tied to the “Occupy” movement. The cut is definitely progressive rock, but it has a real off-melodic element that’s both off-putting and charming at the same time. The violin again offers some intriguing soloing.
Ferris Wheel
More of a retro pop rock sound is heard here. If the whole album were closer to the music on this tune, it probably wouldn’t fit under “progressive rock.” This, in context, though, fits. It’s a catchy little number, but still shifted far enough left of center to keep it from feeling trite.
Spring Flowers
At times, I can make out hints of Jimmy Buffett on this number. That said, this is very much a progressive rock meets psychedelic song throughout the rest of it. It’s definitely in keeping with the rest of the disc.
I'm Ready to Go
The vocal arrangement on this is both the most complex of the album and the best. This number really does a great job of combining those progressive and psychedelic elements into an effective arrangement.
Pass the Bread
Mellower music with hints of country and 1960s pop music are alternated with harder rocking sounds for an arrangement that’s quite strong.
Fallen Angel
Vocals open this with a real scat kind of texture. Then the instrumentation brings in a motif that has some hints of the B-52s, but with a lot of jazz in the mix. Harmonica brings some blues to the table. This is another cut that might not fit into progressive rock, but with the rest of the stuff here as context, it works.
Nick's New Groove
As one might guess from the title, there’s a lot of groove here. It has a killer vocal arrangement and there are lots of little layers of sound moving around here and there. Combine a classic rock sound with a lot of jazz and you’ve got a great idea of what this number is all about.
Another One Like You
Male vocals are featured here. This is bouncy and fun, but not really progressive rock like. It’s a cool cut with a lot of old school rock and roll in the mix.
Take Me By the Hand
There’s definitely an old time gospel type sound on this number. It’s a fun one, but far from the most proggy on show. It gets quite down home country oriented later in the number.
The Big F
With a lot of violin, this instrumental is both jazzy and proggy. It’s a cool way to end the set in style, bringing it well back into the realm of prog.
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