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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Tiki Black

Out of the Black

Review by Gary Hill

There is a real world music vibe to much of this album. The main focus in terms of arrangement is Tiki Black’s voice and piano. Other instruments are added here and there to fill out the arrangements. There’s a good amount of variety here and some songs are extremely good. This is probably not for everyone, the vocal deliveries are on key, but perhaps a bit unusual for some listeners, but it’s quite good stuff. There are a few songs here that I really like and nothing I don’t like at all.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Free Like Smoke

Vocals start this and then piano joins. The cut works out like that for a time. Eventually other instruments join, but this is essentially a piano and voice type of arrangement with some other sounds augmenting. It does get pretty powerful before it’s over, though.

Listen
Again piano and voice are the main elements. This one, though, is more of a ballad and has a rather lush arrangement. It’s quite a pretty piece. There is definitely a healthy dosage of world music built into this.
Swollen
Overall the concept hasn’t changed, but this one seems to focus more on stripped back world music sounds.
Out of the Black
The piano that opens this is particularly pretty. The cut grows in appropriate ways into a rather lush and quite beautiful arrangement. I really love the section later with the Spanish guitar in it.
Escape
An old world music sound is heard here. The vocal performance and the melody are kind of sad. They are also among the most effective here. I think I like this song better than anything else on the disc.
Etna
Piano and voice drive this. It’s another that’s particularly effective because of the melody lines.
Le cinquième élément
With lyrics in French, this is a very classically oriented and quite evocative piece.
Powder Masks
Here we have another song that’s not far removed from the rest of the stuff here. It’s a good piece of music, though. I love some of the piano work on this. The violin in the mix is particularly tasty, too.
Silence (No More)
Folk and classical music are combined on this gentle piece. 
Open Your Eyes
Just piano and voice, this is one of the best cuts here. It’s got a lot of emotion and power.
 
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