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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Jessie Kilguss

Nocturnal Drifter

Review by Gary Hill

Folk and jazz are heard on this disc. It sure doesn’t stop there, though. There’s world music here. Progressive rock shows up at times. Motown and The Beatles both seem like reference points at times. Even Pink Floyd elements are heard in at least one part of the disc. It all works together in a satisfying combination, making this a very enjoyable set.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Gristmill

I love this. It’s sort of a folk tune, but there’s a real world music vibe. The vocals have a torch singer kind of element. The arrangement gets a retro jazz infusion later. This is just oozing with retro charm.

Americana
Based on more of a modern, bouncy sound, there’s almost a neo-progressive rock vibe to this thing. Although the vocals clearly shine, there are some great instrumental moments here, too. This is just plain awesome.
A Little Place Behind My Eyes

A real electronic music groove is heard as the backdrop here. The vocals come in with a great style. As this continues out it takes on different musical styles at different times. Overall it feels a bit like a modern take on a Motown single, but with some Beatles and hard rock thrown in for good measure. It’s good, but not up to the same level as the first two pieces.

Time on My Hands

Piano starts this. The vocals come over that backdrop, feeling rather vulnerable and intimate. The cut grows out after the first verse. There is a bit of a Beatles vibe on hand here. It alternates between the more stripped down and more fully arranged. Later, though, it’s another that wanders near a progressive rock kind of sound.

I Don't Need People

Slow and rather moody, this is atmospheric and also quite progressive in texture. It’s a killer tune with lots of charm. The jam later in the piece really makes me think of Pink Floyd quite a bit.

This Time

The piano drives the mellower parts of this cut. Overall it’s kind of a cross between a jazz ballad and a more bouncy prog rock meets pop music vibe. There are definitely moments on this one that also show off some Beatles references. There’s a more proggy section at the end with some particularly soaring vocals.

31
Symphonic elements create the backdrop for Kilguss’ first vocals. After that verse, it jumps out into a more straightforward and rather playful pop rock sound.
Marie Antoinette Song

Slow and moody, this is atmospheric, but so powerful. There are great waves of sound effects built into it. This cut gets a parental advisory on the lyrics. It also has a more upbeat section that has a bouncy kind of world music vibe to it.

Something about Lonely

The first section (a recurring one) of this is pop oriented and quite catchy and pretty mainstream. There is banjo in the mix here and that section has a real down home, folk music vibe to it. There’s even a Dixieland jazz segment later in the piece.

Strangers on a Train

This is sort of a modern pop number. At least it has some modern effects in terms of some of the production. It’s a great piece of music and I like it a lot.

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