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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Tak Matsumoto

Strings of My Soul

Review by Gary Hill

While not everything on this album is progressive rock, there is a lot of prog here. What isn’t prog comes close enough (for instance jazz type music) for me to put the set under prog. However you look at it, though, this is quite a tasty piece of music that works from end to end.

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
The Moment
Mellow, atmospheric sounds open this feeling a bit like Pink Floyd. It works out to something more like a slow, smooth jazz from there.
 
Live Life
This is basically a smooth jazz number. It’s catchy and tasty and almost has a modern alterative pop sound to it.
 
Trinity
With some definite guitar rock in the midst, this instrumental has some of that jazz in place still and sort of skirts between guitar hero sounds, progressive rock and fusion.
Blue
Here we have an instrumental that’s quite tasty. If features both symphonic and progressive rock elements along with some great melodic guitar.
Hana
The guitar drives this instrumental, but the piano features prominently at times, too. There are a lot of Asian elements in play here.
 
Koi-Uta
Those Asian elements are even more prevalent here. There are non-lyrical female vocals here following the melodic patterns set down by the guitar. It keeps the melodic element, but powers out to harder rocking territory after a while.
Sasanqua~Winter Sun
Melodic guitar drives this tasty instrumental. It’s a great piece of music and a nice touch on an exceptional disc.
The Wings
More melodic instrumental sound is heard here. The cut works so well. It’s not a huge departure, but still has its own unique texture.
 
Sukiyaki (featuring Larry Carlton)
This is more traditional jazz in nature. It’s mellow and quite tasty and has some killer guitar work.
My Favorite Things
Appropriately, this is one of my favorite things on this album. It’s a great instrumental version of a killer tune. It feels at times like the kind of arrangement Jon Anderson might do. It’s symphonic and jazzy and yet very much instrumental progressive rock.
Romeo & Juliet
Starting with a weird spoken bit, this is quite classical and again somehow feels a bit like something that might show up on a Jon Anderson disc - mind, you, minus the vocals. It’s pretty, intricate and tasteful.
 
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