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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Plum Magnetic

Terra Animata

Review by Gary Hill

This is modern progressive rock. It’s also quite tied to classic sounds. The influences are all over the map, though. From world music to psychedelia to jazz and much more, this stuff really has a lot of variety. It’s quite a strong set and will probably appeal mostly to fans of modern prog. That said, there are elements here that classic prog fans will find seem comfortably familiar.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Spring

This short (less than thirty seconds) piece is just multiple layers echoey vocals.

Trece Leches
This extended instrumental is quite cool. It’s got some world music in the mix and also some fusion. Overall, though, it’s guitar oriented and not far removed from some Yes music – or perhaps more appropriately Steve Howe’s solo work. I can also make out some California Guitar Trio in the mix. It’s great piece of music, either way, though.
Sweet Confusion
The opening section here seems to combine Yes and The Byrds. When it drops back for the vocals there is a real psychedelic rock meets world music element to it. The instrumental section later in the piece takes us back to the original combination of sounds, but ups the ante on the bet.
The Electric Jungle
There is definitely a lot of world music in the mix here. It’s joined by folk, psychedelic and more. This is a cool instrumental with some intriguing changes.
SheshBesh
As this works out there is some old Yes in the mix, but I can also make out some Grateful Dead here. The progression and shifts and changes here are pretty organic. That said, it works out to some seriously fusion-like territory later in the piece. It’s another instrumental.
Parallax
Jazz, fusion, jam band sounds and modern progressive rock are all combined on this instrumental. Different parts of that equation dominate at different points along the musical road. It’s quite a cool number that’s organic and cohesive, but also quite diverse.
The Delicious

In a lot of ways this is more pure fusion than anything else here. That said, there is definitely world music in the mix. There are also some hints of bluegrass sound here and there. It’s another great instrumental. I’m reminded of Pat Metheny at times here. It’s quite an extensive piece. The final segment even has some space rock in it.

Terra Animata

As this starts it really feels quite a lot like early Yes. Then it works out to some more modern sounding music. It’s got jazz and prog in seemingly equal measures with some jam band elements to complete the picture. This isn’t an instrumental piece. I particularly like the instrumental segment later in the cut and the keyboard dominated part really stands out. In some ways, it reminds me of The Doors a bit. The combination of male and female vocals on this song is great. There are some especially jazzy moments later in the number, too. They made a great choice in using this as the closing piece because it’s definitely the most epic and arguably the strongest number of the whole set.

 
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