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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Beto Hale

Rebirth

Review by Gary Hill

Beto Hale lives in Mexico. It should be no surprise then, that some of the songs here are in Spanish. In some cases on the track by track, I’ve noted whether the tune is sung in English or Spanish. In general, though, just looking at the title will reveal the answer. Overall, I’d consider this to be progressive rock. Sure, the songs are fairly short, but there are plenty of prog elements in pretty much everything. This is quite a potent pack of tunes and really showcases the kind of talent Hale has.

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
Explosiones

This cut is quite proggy in nature. The vocals are in Spanish. There are some sections of this that feel a little like Yes. Some of the keyboards sounds in particular bring in progressive rock influences. The song structure and arrangement are complex, but flow really well.

Falling Down

With lyrics in English, this comes in with a more straightforward approach. It drops back to a fairly stripped back AOR approach for the vocals. There are some sections later, though, that reinforce that progressive rock element. This isn’t as strong as the opener, but it’s still quite good.

Sube Al Carrusel

Back into Spanish lyrical territory, the music to this piece is powerful and intriguing. It’s quite rhythmic, but it also has plenty of prog in the mix. There is also a bit of that AOR thing going on here.

Trincheras

Also “en espa?ol,” this rocks out more than some of the other stuff here. It’s quite energized and has a bit more crunch in place. Still, it qualifies as progressive rock in my book.

Fire Away

There is more of a symphonic element to this, but in some ways it seems tied to things like The Beatles. The vocal arrangement is both complex and compelling. There are some interesting changes in the music, too. This has some cool slide guitar at times.

Pobre Corazón

More of a pop vibe is present here. I can make out more of those Beatles elements, too. The arrangement definitely gets more powerful. While this isn’t the proggiest thing on the disc, there is still progressive rock to be found in the mix.

Sin Mirar

There is sort of a dream-like quality to this, yet there is also a crunching guitar in the mix. This is perhaps the weakest cut here, but it’s still pretty good.

April

Starting in an acoustic pop rock vibe, this grows out into more progressive rock territory as it continues. The vocals on the tune seem to bring this more into alternative pop directions, though.

I Will Always Be There

This definitely has some fusion in the mix. It’s one of the most purely progressive rock oriented pieces here. There are some great sounds and textures to this. In fact, I’d say that it might be the best song on the whole disc.

Come As You Are

I love the guitar sound on the opening section here. It drops back a bit as it shifts out for the vocals. The vocal arrangement here is among the best of the set. The musical arrangement has some definite magic, too. All in all, this is another strong tune and a great way to end it in style.

 
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