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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Roger Glover

Mask

Review by Gary Hill

Mask has just gotten reissued. This album isn’t what one would expect from Roger Glover. It’s worlds apart from his work with Deep Purple. The music here fits somewhere between 1980s electronic pop and progressive rock. I think there is enough prog here to land it under that category, but your mileage may vary. This is a good disc, but it sounds a little dated.


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
Divided World

The keyboards sounds that start this are very 80s. The tune works into a cool jam that’s got an AOR prog sort of texture. In a lot of ways I’m reminded of Asia. I like the vocal harmonies on this. The break mid-track is especially proggy and classy.

Getting Stranger
Although there are still some proggy elements here, this is more of an electronic pop tune with a lot of 1980s music in the mix. It’s bouncy and fun, but a little light-weight.
Mask
The beat that opens this makes me think of The Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil.” As it works out from there, though, this is like electronic pop turned to quirky 1980s prog rock. The chorus is very much like some of the Chris Squire/Billy Sherwood stuff. There are some twists and changes on this one. A lot of this is built on percussive electronics.
Fake It
A bouncy rhythm section serves as the backdrop for another cut that seems to combine 1980s electronic pop and prog. I really like the guitar solo on this number.
Dance Again
There’s more of a rock and roll vibe here, but it definitely has an 80s vibe to it. Still, the changes bring some prog to the table. This has a killer guitar solo.
You're So Remote
It’s surprising since Roger Glover is a bass player, but this is the first song where I’ve really been captured by the bass guitar. This is the best song of the whole set. It still has some of that 1980s vibe, but overall is closer to a combination of progressive rock and fusion. This is great piece of music that works very well. I love the saxophone solo.
Hip Level
Much more of a rocker than a lot of the music here, this really does make me think of Billy Sherwood a lot. Again saxophone lends some cool flavor. Overall this is one of the better cuts. The instrumental section with its fusion type backdrop and smoking hot guitar solo is great.
Don't Look Down
Imagine DEVO blended with Kraftwerk. The result might sound a lot like this. It’s a decent song, but not all that special really. It does have a few cool bass fills.
 
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