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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Terry Draper

When the World Was Young

Review by Gary Hill

Fans of Klaatu will want to pick this up pronto. Terry Draper is probably best known for his work in that band. The thing is, it seems that a lot of the sound of Klaatu was really Draper because this album feels like it could have fit as a Klaatu album. I’ve landed it under prog, in part because of Draper’s work with Klaatu and in part because progressive rock (although not the only element here) is present in some degree through most of the set. There is some great music here, no matter how you label it, though.

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

Track by Track Review
All the Kings Men

Ambient, effects laden stuff starts this before piano enters. With other waves of sound in the mix, the piano serves as the backdrop for the first vocals. After the first verse some other instruments join and it starts to rock out a bit more. This is AOR-prog oriented stuff with some definite Beatles or ELO type sounds in the tapestry. Of course, that’s very much in keeping with Draper’s former band Klaatu, so it makes sense. Although this is a pretty straight line journey, it still has enough shifts and changes to keep it interesting.

There is some bouncy, old time vaudeville music in the mix here. This is fun little rocker that’s very much an AOR-type tune. The dreamy section here is quite classy. This is another that feels a lot like Klaatu, but what do you expect, really?
Carry On
Here we get a dreamy kind of AOR progressive rock number. It’s mellow, but energized. It’s a classic sounding tune. I really love some of the guitar soloing on this.
The Tea Horse Road
This is sort of a mini-epic. It has a lot of differing movements. At times it feels like The Beatles and, of course, Klaatu. There is world music here along with mystery and drama. It’s theatrical and fun.
No Life Before You
Starting as a ballad, this gets more of a rock stance later. It’s another AOR tune that feels a lot like Klaatu. It’s got an especially catchy hook.
If I Could Dance
I really love this song. It’s an energetic and very catchy number. It’s quite accessible and effective. It might be my favorite tune here. There seems to be a lot of genuine emotion in this one.
The Charge of the Light Brigade
There is a real symphonic, theatrical vibe to this. It’s kind of like progressive rock does musical theater. I have to say that it’s a bit too theatrical for my tastes, but I can appreciate it, nevertheless.
In the Sun
Appropriately, a tropical Island vibe is all over this. Of course, it’s still trademark Draper, too. It’s just a different dialect. It’s bouncy, fun and breezy.
To Whom It May Concern
While there is a lot more pure prog in this piece, it’s also got plenty of the Draper trademarks. There is definitely a dreamy atmosphere combined with a gentle AOR vibe.
Honey B.
I really love some of the guitar soloing on this one. It’s a catchy AOR pop rock meets prog tune. It’s also a solid one. Of course, what else do you expect from Draper.
My Love, My Love
There is almost a jazz vibe here, along with a Latin one. Somehow this makes me think of Santana a bit. The chorus really gets more of a pure Latin vibe with a horn section.
Sail Around the World
Progressive rock and theatrical elements combine here. This is another that feels like musical theater, but this one is stronger than “The Charge of the Light Brigade” as far as I’m concerned. While it’s a fairly short tune, the whole vibe is very epic to me. This is one of the best pieces of the disc.
When the World Was Young
More of a rocker, AOR and prog merge on this piece. It’s definitely a number that feels like it could have come from Klaatu. Of course, that’s a good thing. This is another highlight of the set. There’s a real uplifting feeling to this number. This is also another with an epic vibe to it.
Hidden Track
After some silence after the title track, drums kick in and we’re off in an old time music vibe for a moment. Then it rocks out as the guitar joins. This feels very classic rock in a lot of way. It’s a big change from the rest of the music here. It still has a Terry Draper sound to it, but with more of a 1970s mainstream rock element. It’s actually a cover of a song by Crispian St. Peters titled “The Pied Piper.”


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