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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Creation Mind

The Crimson Sun

Review by Gary Hill

I love the mix of sounds here. Overall the main things are 1960s and 1970s pop rock, with a heavy infusion of The Beatles. Of course, 1960s and 1970s pop rock had a heavy infusion of The Beatles. This is in some ways a one person project. That person is Mike Parenti. He wrote most of the songs and plays guitar, synthesizer, ebow and sings. The whole project was put together by him. On the other hand, it is also a three person project because he’s joined by Stewart Wenig (vocals, bass and lead guitar) and Stefano Leone (drums). However it’s configured, though, this is an impressive collection of songs.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
The Crimson Sun

Psychedelia and progressive rock seem to merge on this cool rocker. It’s got some great sounds. There is definitely a real 1960s kind of vibe to this.

Dream Dreamer Dream
This is another great piece. It has a lot of Beatles-like sound in it. Yet, it’s also very modern. I love the music and the multilayered vocal arrangement. As good as the opener was, this is even better.
The Crystal Ship

The same blend of sounds is on display on this number. It really has a 1960s sound to it. It makes me think of Wings quite a bit, but also Klaatu in some says.

Laura You're an Angel

This dreamy pop rocker is very Beatles-like. It’s got some great vocal hooks and feels a lot like it would have fit on the radio in the early 1970s.

Dreams of Love

Although this is very much set in the same kind of retro textures as the rest, it manages to feel more modern at the same time. This is more of a ballad, too.

S O O N
This feels so much like early Beatles that it’s scary. While the vocals aren’t exactly the same, it wouldn’t be an enormous stretch to think this came out of the Liverpool scene of the 1960s.
Tell Me the Word
Although there are still Beatlesesque elements here, this has a bit more of a modern hard rock edge to it. Perhaps the closest comparison would be to The Romantics.
My Lover and My Dream
Somehow this one is more progressive rock like. It’s intricate and yet mellow. It just doesn’t work as well as some of the rest of the music here. For one thing, it’s not as accessible.
Gotta Let You See
More of a hard rocker, this one combines a lot of the sounds heard on the rest of the disc. It’s rather proggy, but the Beatles elements and psychedelia are also prominent. It’s a strong tune.
Arrived
This hard rocker is much more modern in texture. It works really well, though. The vocal hooks feel more retro in a lot of way. The guitar soloing not only rocks, but lands on the fresher end of the spectrum.
Okay Today
Pop music, with a decidedly 60s kind of sound to it, makes up this song. It’s an effective one that also has some proggy elements built into it.
Many Miles
Acoustic guitar based, this one is very much a progressive rock ballad. Yes, it has some hooks and a dreamy atmosphere, but it’s quite proggy.

 

 
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