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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Tachyon

Teleportation

Review by Gary Hill

I like this a lot. Not everything is perfect, but everything has definite positive qualities. Electronic music like this is often plagued by overuse of autotune-like processing on the vocals these days. I tend to think that eventually that is going to make some of the modern music seem really outdated. Fortunately, this set really only makes use of it on one track. There is a growing backlash toward those kind of vocals. I know some people who review electronic music who say that if they hear those vocals, they just shut it off and walk away. For that reason, it’s a shame that the song here that uses them is the opening one. I have a hunch some reviewers will hear that and discount this. They’ll be missing out because there is some fun music here and only that one offender in terms of the processing.

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
Circles

Although this is electronic dance pop music, some of the musical elements here are almost jazzy. Most of the vocals feel pretty un-processed, but there is a bit of processing used at times for effect. It rarely goes over the top in terms of feeling overdone. There is sort of an electronic horn section in the mix at times, adding to that jazz reference. There are some great vocal hooks on this number.

Made Dreams

 A slower moving, mellower number, this is classy stuff. It’s got more of a rock vibe to it as it gets more powered up. The vocal hook is modern and catchy. It reminds me a bit of Fun. I’m not overly crazy about the falsetto vocals on this, but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of processing on the vocals on this number, so that’s a good thing. There is also a cool playful symphonic type section later, lending some class and variety.

Aliens
The slow groove on this is cool. The overlayers of sound lend sort of a twisted, but somehow infectious element. This is full of intriguing culture references. It’s a bit weird, but it’s also cool. This one also avoids the vocal processing trap.
Why Did I Leave You
I love the soulful groove that serves as the backdrop here. Some jazz and rock are both heard here. This has some great hooks and is very catchy. The dog bark sample is a nice touch. This is one of the best tracks here.
Time Machine
As good as everything else has been, they saved the best for last. This is a fun, pop music romp. It has plenty of electronic music, but it’s quite classic in texture. This feels like it could have come out at any time in the last couple decades and been all over the radio. It’s catchy and powerful and just a great romp. It’s a powerhouse with the most fully realized arrangement.
 
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