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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Take Me to the Pilot

What Makes You

Review by Gary Hill

There’s nothing Earth shattering or groundbreaking here. What’s here, though is very catchy and accessible. While it’s often times a bit too generic, there’s nothing that really fails. Additionally, there are a couple songs that rise pretty high. For the most part it doesn’t fall prey to the over-production that’s so rampant in modern pop music. What we get here are well-crafted pop meets Emo songs that are quite successful. It might not be all that unique or original, but it’s good.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Baby We’re Gonna Be Rich
The guitar bit that starts this has a droning kind of feeling to it. As the vocals join we’re taken into a pop meets emo kind of jam. This is bouncy and fun. The arrangement gets a bit more involved later.
Time’s Up

Pounding in with more alternative rock emo sound, this drops down for a rather stripped back verse. The chorus gets a more built up rendering. This is definitely modern pop music. It’s less emo than the previous number and has the kind of sound that groups like Fall Out Boy do.

Melody

Bouncy and catchy, this is quite accessible. It feels a little over produced, though. It’s a good change from the first couple tunes, but that over-produced element will probably make this seem very dated down the road. The “wall of vocals” section later is a nice touch.

Carry You Back

This number stands so far above the songs that preceded it that it’s scary. Sure, it’s still sent in the same kind of modern alternative pop sound as everything else here. It’s just that the power ballad kind of arrangement seems to work better. It feels very emotionally powerful and there are some definite bits of superior quality here. Without question this one is the best piece here.

What About the Time

Here’s another superior cut. It’s got more energy and really works well. Yet, it’s still hook laden and has a lot of that modern alternative pop sound in place.

Right Now

Mellower and more pure pop music, this one is a bit of a step down. Even when it powers up to the more energized section it still seems a little bit of a let down from the last couple tunes. It’s more that it’s just sort of predictable and average than that it’s bad or anything. That said, there is a cool vocal only segment late in the piece that elevates it a bit.

Travelin Heart

If “Carry You Back” has competition for best number, it’s this one. It’s a powered up ballad. The opening section and some parts later are done just over acoustic backdrop. There is a rocking kind of arrangement on the choruses, though. This tune is less generic than a lot of the stuff here and really accessible and powerful. It’s a great way to end things well.

 
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