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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Eric Frisch

Goodbye Birdcage

Review by Gary Hill

Catchy, timeless pop music – that would be the best description of this. It crosses into folk, country and other genre throughout the course of the set. This is the kind of thing that’s just good to put on in the background because it’s upbeat and accessible. It isn’t without its problems, though. The biggest one isn’t all that bad. It’s just that the recording seems very amateur. The sound quality is good, but it feels like it was recorded from across the room. It’s a little distant and muffled. Beyond that, it’s just that nothing here really stands out. All that said, this is about having fun, and it’s great for that purpose.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Pretty Girls

Although this starts with acoustic guitar, it works out to a bouncy full arrangement with horns and more. It’s a fun pop song.

Telephone
Guitar based pop music, with a lot of folk in the mix, this is gentle and fun. It lacks some of the charm and cool of the previous number, but it’s not bad. It’s just a little lackluster.
Learn to Swim
The arrangement gets a bit more involved on this one, but overall it’s pretty close in scope and sound to the one that came before it. The vocal hooks are infectious, though.
Goodbye Birdcage
Piano leads off the title track. It moves slowly and does have some variant from the previous cut. In fact, the arrangement gets pretty lush. This one just seems to lack a lot of the charisma of the last few tunes. It seems overly slow and just not all that interesting.
Mary Ann

Bouncy and energetic, this full band treatment (either a live recording or made to sound like one) is a lot of fun. It’s got some folk, bluegrass and country in the mix. It’s one of the highlights of the set for sure.

The Sun in Santiago
The first bonus track, this one also sounds live. It’s a bouncy folk meets pop song. It’s fun, but not as strong as the previous one. It does get more style and charm when it works into a Dixieland styled jam later.
Stick Around

Soft rock merged with folk is the idea here. This is catchy. It’s also fun..

All Over Town
Pop music, rather like the Beach Boys, this is not bad. It’s just not really a standout, either. That said, it is a bonus track.
Heaven Only Knows
This one is definitely a live song. It’s got a great vocal arrangement and is more like show music. It’s got a real sing along element to it. It’s just nothing that’s all that special
 
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