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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Jacob Latham

Midnight Train

Review by Gary Hill

I love this set. My only complaint is that I wish there were more here. The music ranges from folk based alternative rock to more rocking sounds still leaning towards roots music. It seems to me that this starts with the weakest track of the set. That said, that tune is still quite good. It’s just that the set moves from excellent to better to better and so forth as it continues. Each song is better than the one before it. That kind of progression really leaves the listener feeling satisfied by the time it’s over. It’s a great (if short) ride.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Pay Attention to the Rain

Coming in with mellow acoustic ballad concepts, the harmonica is a nice touch. The vocals that join bring more of a modern alternative rock vibe. The combination of modern and retro works well. There’s a more powered up variant later and the harmonica returns. This is quite a solid and effective combination of folk rock with alternative. It’s very classic in nature.

Where Do We Go From Here
Intricate and powerful, this is more of a rocker than the opener was. Still, it has plenty of folk music in the mix. It reminds me in some ways of Mumford and Sons.
Midnight Train
This isn’t a huge change, but somehow this piece feels even more effective than the two cuts did. There is some noisy guitar as a little outro bit, but overall this is a strong folk rocker that’s quite catchy. It’s original, but also familiar.
Don’t Let Them In

This is even better than the previous one. It’s got more of a hard rocking sound and some killer retro textures with it. There is an intricate instrumental section mid-track that adds a lot to the piece. This is energetic, catchy and crazy cool.

John Brown
This is more of a rocker than any of the other tunes. It very much feels like the 1970s rock that was closely tied to folk music. I love this number. It’s the most accessible piece here and arguably the best song of the bunch. That makes it the best tune to close the set.
 
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