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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Kasim Sulton

3

Review by Gary Hill

Kasim Sulton is best known for his work with Utopia. This album definitely has a Utopia kind of vibe to it. I know Utopia is generally considered progressive rock, but they are often at the AOR, mainstream end of that equation. So is this. Among the guests Sulton has on this set is fellow Utopian, Todd Rundgren. The one thing you can count on here is great music. This is a fun disc of exceptionally high quality songs. Sometimes you’ll just find yourself marveling at how good this is.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Introduction

This is a cool chorale piece that sets the tone nicely.

Fell in Love for the Last Time
In some ways this is a piano based ballad. It gets more powered up than that, though. There are a lot of progressive rock elements at play here. This is a catchy and quite cool number that feels very much like something Utopia would do.
The Clocks All Stopped
Another that starts with piano, this is a bouncy piece that’s even more like Utopia. It’s catchy and has some great moments. This is very much an AOR styled pop rock piece, but there is still some progressive rock in the mix. It’s such a great song, too.
Watching the World Go By
Coming in with a very smooth jazz kind of vibe, there is some Beatles-like sound in the mix on this tune, too. There isn’t a lot of progressive rock in the mix here, but this is a great song. I love the saxophone.
God of Low
This bouncy rocker is catchy and fun. It’s not the proggiest thing here, but still has some in the mix. There are definitely Beatlesesque elements at play, too.
Summers Gone

There’s more Beatles like rock on this cut. The keyboards later bring the prog, though. This is another accessible piece that’s just so classy. It’s more or less a power ballad kind of cut, but delivered with a Beatles via Utopia edge.

Too Much on Her Mind
Another that’s essentially a ballad, this is a tasty cut. It’s not the catchiest thing here, but there are enough hooks along with enough prog to keep it interesting.
15 Minutes
This is a bouncy little jazzy romp. It’s a lot of fun.
The Traveler
Folk and more merge on this bouncy tune. It’s a change of pace and yet it fits.
Shine On

More of a rocker at the start, this has some great guitar work. It’s definitely another that seems to merge the Beatles with Utopia and more. This really gets into some soaring and triumphant territory when it rocks out later.

Someone to Watch over Me
Here we get a performance of an old Gershwin song. It’s a piano and vocal only arrangement.
Fade Away
I like this one a lot, too. It’s balladic and classic in nature. It’s not the proggiest thing here, but it’s very effective and makes a satisfying closer.
 
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