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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Allan Holdsworth

FLATTire: Music for A Non-Existent Movie

Review by Gary Hill

There is definitely a lot of fusion in this album. World music and other things are also heard. It’s Allan Holdsworth, so it’s great, but in a lot of ways it’s not really what one might expect. There is a lot less guitar here than you generally figure on hearing with Holdsworth. All in all, though, it’s quite a good disc, if a bit understated. Of course, the second part of the title should give that away.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 4 at

Track by Track Review
The Duplicate Man (Intro)

There is a real industrial, meaning it sounds like the pounding of a factory in the background here. Holdsworth’s guitar weaves noisy lines of music over the top of that.

The Duplicate Man
Coming in more melodic, this quickly takes on more of a fusion element. There is a definite danger to the texture of this piece. It has some dissonance and works through some changes. Around the minute and a half mark it shifts to something that feels “happier” and less ominous. The piece continues to evolve from there. Around the three minute mark percussion takes it in a new, more energized direction.
Eeny Meeny

More of a pure fusion jam, this still has some weird elements at play. It’s a little noisy, too.

Please Hold On
Melodic, but still a little dissonant at times, this is a pretty song. It’s one of the more “normal” pieces here.
Snow Moon
Spacey effects and sounds open this. Keyboards solo over the top. It turns to some lush and beautiful music for a time. Then the energy and tempo are ramped up and the cut works forward into some fairly frantic jamming. Slower, more melodic sounds take it again later. It moves towards space before ending.

I’m reminded a lot of Pat Metheny on this melodic fusion tune. It gets a lot of energy and it’s really one of the coolest pieces here. It works through several changes and flavors and is just plain cool.

So Long

Melodic and slow, this is keyboard dominated. It gets a bit weird and dissonant at times, but overall is pretty straightforward.

Bo Peep

There are bits of world music in this somehow. It’s also more of a pure jazz number.

Don't You Know

Much of this is almost purely atmospheric. There’s a section with soloing, though. There’s also a section that feels like processed choral voices being synthesized.

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