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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Keith Allan Mitchell

This Clumsy World

Review by Gary Hill

This is a good album with some moments that are much better than that. Overall it lands somewhere in the acoustic based pop territory with a lot of folk music built into it. There is some variation here, but not really enough to get us through. Additionally, the vocal cadence and melodies are too similar from song to song. That makes the whole set have a tendency to feel samey. It means that (for the most part) listening to an individual song or two is more enjoyable than sitting through the whole disc. There are a couple songs that are less successful, though. The vocals throughout have a tendency to skirt near to going off key without actually doing so. There are a couple places, though, where they do go off key pretty badly for short periods of time. That makes those songs a little tough to take. Still despite those shortcomings, this set is reasonably effective. That really says a lot about the quality of the music when taken song by song.

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
Been Buried

I love the energized acoustic guitar motif that opens this. Although this song is just acoustic guitar and voice, it’s got a lot of intensity and a fast tempo. It lands sort of in the territory of acoustic rocker more than anything else.

Swaying
This has a more full arrangement. It’s based sort of on a folk country vibe. The vocals are a little tough to take at times for me, though.
You Just Disappear
Folk, alternative pop and more appear on this more stripped down, but energized tune.
Crossed That Line
Based on gentle folk and country music, this is one of the best pieces here. It’s evocative and powerful, but still slow and mellow. I like this one a lot.
What it Means to Soar
A folk rock styled piece, this is pretty good. It suffers at points from some off-key vocals.
Tavern Angeline
There is almost an Island vibe added to the mix here. Beyond that, it’s sort of more of the same. It’s a good tune, but not all that special.
The Feud
This is one of the most “different” and unique cuts here. It’s got a more rocking, electrified approach. It’s sort of a bluesy classic rock number. It’s also classy.
Next Time
Heavily based on folk music, this one is okay. It’s just that it’s a bit too much like everything else here. A lot of this is starting to sound the same by this point.
Every Every
Folk music based, this really does feel too much like the bulk of the stuff here. As the lyrics say “Every every is the same.” In a lot of ways this album feels that way. There just isn’t enough variety to keep it interesting for this length.
The Low Way
This is definitely an improvement. There is still a bit of a monolithic nature in terms of the vocal melody lines. But, musically this has more of an energized classic rock arrangement that both provides variety and works well.
Diamond Blues
Country and folk merge on this bouncy number. It’s another bit of variety.
Our Eyes
Although this has energy, it’s a stripped back folky number. I think that a bit more variety and power would have been a better way to end the disc.

 

 
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