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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Nathaniel Land

Make This World Our Own

Review by Gary Hill

This is quite a strong album. There are a few songs here that are magical. The rest lands somewhere between good and very good. Overall, this is probably more of less pop rock with some alternative rock in the mix. There are moments, though, where it leans towards progressive rock. Whatever you call it, though, this is a strong set that’s well worth having.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
I Have Broken Through

Fairly mellow guitar sounds open this. The cut grows out from there into a melodic tune that’s very accessible. It’s basically somewhere between the territory of pop rock and alternative rock. The balance and contrast between the mellower movements and the harder rocking ones works very well.

Breakfast in Bed
More of a singer songwriter ballad style is the motif here. It does rock out a bit more at times, but overall this is a little mellower than the opener. Somehow it’s also more effective.
Possibility
The first two cuts here were quite good. That makes this one even more impressive because it works so much better than either one of those did. It’s got a great alternative rock meets dreamy progressive rock vibe to it. This is a soaring tune with a lot of variety. It just seems packed with emotion. This is definitely one of the best cuts on the set.
Running's All We Know
This is weaker than any of the three openers. While the vocal line has a different flair (and sometimes doesn’t seem completely effective), musically somehow this reminds me a bit of something Cat Stevens might do. It’s not really a bad song. It’s just that it doesn’t stand up to the material that came before it.
Bring It On Today
I really like the acoustic guitar sounds that open this. The way the electric solos over the top is even more magic. This is another tune with some progressive rock in the mix. It’s also another highlight of the set. It’s just so powerful. That applies to the vocal performance and the musical arrangement. This has some of the most effective moments of the whole album. That electric guitar soloing throughout adds so much to this piece.
My Mama Told Me
This is another standout tune. It’s got a lot of folk music and singer/songwriter sounds. There are similarities to some of the stuff from Led Zeppelin’s third album. Still, the Cat Stevens reference is valid here, too. This cut does get a parental advisory in terms of the lyrics. It’s a great piece of music, though and some nice variety.
It's the Life
A melodic tune, this rocker is accessible. It’s another with some folk and singer songwriter sounds and even some progressive rock in the mix. I like this one a lot. The vocal performance is quite captivating.
The World Ain’t Falling Down
A pop music meets folk and alternative tune, this is another strong one. The arrangement is quite lush and the whole song is well constructed.
Avenue A
With a little different delivery, this pop rock tune could be a country song. This is a good one, but not really a highlight. It’s not that it’s bad (far from it). It’s just that there is so much awesome material here that it takes a lot to stand tall.
Make This World Our Own
As good as some of the other music here was, he saved the best for last. There’s a great classic rock vibe to this tune and it’s extremely catchy. This is worth the price of admission all by itself.
 
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