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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Beverly Girl

Feather and Dust

Review by Gary Hill

Fans of 1980s music will like this. In a lot of ways it feels like it could have come from that era. There is a bit of a modern edge to it, though. All in all, this is a good set. It’s better taken one song at a time than as an album, though. That’s because there isn’t enough variety between songs. The tempo is quite similar in most of them and the same electronic music with searing crunch guitar laced in the arrangement concept holds throughout. Additionally, the vocals have a similar presence throughout. That makes it start to feel like one long song after a while. Still, many people (and particularly fans of pop music) don’t listen to whole albums these days, but rather individual songs.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
One

As this starts, it definitely makes me think of Prince. It’s got a real 1980s vibe. It also has some of that noisy guitar sound. It’s almost like ABC’s first album, too. This is catchy and tasty. There’s an electronic music break in this.

In the Street
In some ways this isn’t all that far removed from the opener. Still, there is less meat on this. It’s got some noisy guitar, but overall falls more into the electronic, percussive territory. Comparisons to Wendy and Lisa might be appropriate in some ways.
Go with What You Got
Wow! This sounds like it would have been right at home on the “Beverly Hills Cop” soundtrack. It’s set very much in that 1980s sound. It’s another strong tune on a disc that’s full of strong piece. It’s a cool groove.
Together We Stand
That tastefully noisy guitar is all over this. Otherwise, it’s more of a standard 1980s sound. The instrumental section on this is quite effective.
Move On

I love the guitar that’s all over this thing. That really manages to elevate this. It’s got that Prince vibe to it. Without that guitar, this would probably be weaker because by this point, the sound is starting to get a bit samey. This one makes me think of Bananarama. The guitar solo is definitely a nice touch.

Across the Floor

The electronic element, along with a cool rhythm section serve to keep this one from getting too mired in the monolithic nature of the set. It’s not enough to keep it from being relegated to the “not the best” part of the disc, though. It does drag on a bit long, too.

Open Door

There are some cool things here, but the overall lack of change from song to song is starting to get pretty strong. It just feels a little tedious at this point. The thing is, this song, taken by itself away from everything else is among the best here. It’s just too similar to everything else, preventing it from really standing tall.

Wind
This isn’t the best thing here, but it does represent some variety. The arrangement is more stripped down and atmospheric. It does tend to stay around pretty long given the lack of change in the piece. Still, it’s a decent closer.
 
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