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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Freedom

Freedom (Vinyl)

Review by Gary Hill

This is a new white vinyl release of this 1970 album from the band Freedom. The packaging that came with this described the band as “progressive rock.” I don’t think that label quite fits, although perhaps “proto-prog” wouldn’t be too bad of a description. That said, due to that description and the fact two of the guys in the band were in Procol Harum, I’m going to land it there. The truth is, though, no matter what genre you think this fits under, it’s good stuff.

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
Side 1
Nobody
This is perhaps a bit mainstream and straight rock oriented for prog, but as proto prog, it sure works. The introduction is rather involved, but the song proper is a pretty solid rock sound. It’s got some great hooks. The guitar solo section is quite tasty.
In Search of Something
The arrangement on this is a bit more complex. It really does have a proto prog sound in a lot of ways. This is very classic in nature and the soaring vocal arrangement is great. I love how the guitar solos even during vocal sections.
Dusty Track
This smoking hot rocker has some great riffing and some killer guitar soloing. It’s a lot like Cream as far as I’m concerned. This jam wanders towards space rock and has some definite proggy elements later in the number. There are moments that even make me think of Hawkwind a little.
Man Made Laws
Now, this melodic rocker definitely has some of that proto-prog element on display. It’s very much a soaring psychedelic rocker. I love the bass line and the whole thing is just melodic goodness.
Side 2
Ain’t No Chance To Score
This is more of a straightahead rock and roll tune. It’s got some scorching hot guitar soloing, though.
Pretty Woman
I love the riff driving this beast It’s a killer rocker, but it’s not really prog. It makes me think of a cross between Cream and Savoy Brown. This is some pretty awesome jamming on this piece, though.
Freedom
The title track could possibly be considered progressive rock. It has some great jamming and some cool shifts and changes. It’s more of a melodic rocker. It’s slow moving and bluesy, but also quite interesting and unusual. It’s also one of the strongest pieces here.
Dirty Water
In a bit of an oddity, the back cover lists this song correctly. The inside of the gatefold says that it’s “Frustrated Woman.” This is actually a more melodic (and yes, a little proggy) version of the hit from The Standells. It’s bouncy and good. I think I prefer the garage rock sound of the original, but this is an interesting twist on the sound.

 

 
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