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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Elijah Tucker

Saturn

Review by Gary Hill

This is quite a cool release. The style of the disc is hard to pin down, unless you want to just give it a generic label of “fun.” There is quite a bit of jazz in it, but also a lot of rock music from different eras. The thing is, no matter the specific style of a song (or section of song) everything here is entertaining and quite strong. And, even though there’s quite a bit of variety, it all seems to fit together nicely.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Gimme Gimme

There’s sort of 1950s rock and roll vibe to this bouncy number. It’s a good way to start the set.

Crazy Things

While the opener was good, this is way beyond that. It’s funky and has an awesome musical texture and vibe. In fact, this is without question one of the coolest cuts of the whole set. There’s an awesome instrumental section later with horns and keyboards both vying for attention. It’s got a real jazz sound to it.

A Crimson Gleam

It seems impossible to the music here in one little box. This one feels a lot like a punky sort of modern alternative rock vibe. I suppose, you could also compare this to grunge in some ways. That said, there’s a classic pop rock sound to some of the later sections here. It’s got sort of a John Lennon does Roy Orbison vibe going on with it.

Kicking Snow

This is more of a balladic cut. It has a lot of retro musical textures in the mix. One could liken it to some modern alternative pop in some ways, but there is a lot of old school rock music and jazz built into this beast. The instrumental section clearly has a lot of jazz built into it, but the guitar soloing calls to mind old time rock and roll more. Whatever you call it, though, they put in one of the coolest performances of the set. I particularly dig the retro keyboard sounds on this thing.

O Pain! Piano

There’s a lot of piano on this song, as one might expect, including a killer solo section later. It’s bouncy and fun and very much a 1970s inspired pop rock number.

Amos and Boris

Unusual, but also very cool, the first verse is sung over nothing but percussion. As it continues from there, melodic instrumentation is added to the mix and the main musical element is a mid-tempo jazz sound. This is one of the highlights of the set despite (or perhaps because of) the understated arrangement. It’s just so cool.

If I Only Had a Brain

Jazz, blues, gospel and alternative pop all seem to blend on this rendition of the song from “The Wizard of Oz.” I like this a lot. It brings a smile to the face, while starting toes tapping. There are some interesting musical textures in this slow paced melodic tune. The vocals even bring in some hints of country music later.

Whoa Daddy

The jazz stylings are certainly here, but it’s also got a lot of Island sound in the mix. It seems like a great tune for a lazy summer day. It just oozes cool and retro class. It’s a great way to end a tasty set.

 
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