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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Casey Fallen

Atmospheric Disturbances

Review by Gary Hill

I definitely consider this progressive rock, but prog like modern acts like RPWL and Porcupine Tree. Each song here, taken by itself, it effective. The main problem is the fact that there is little change in terms of the vocal delivery from song to song. That makes it all start to sound the same after a while. So, I guess I’d say that this is better taken a couple songs at a time than to try to spin the whole disc.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Fragile

This is dreamy and trippy. In a lot of ways it makes me think of Pink Floyd. There are definitely hints of things like RPWL and Porcupine Tree, too.

Last Glance
Not as hard rocking as the opener, the textures and layers of sound here still have that dreamy nature. This is a bit more mainstream pop music oriented, but I’d still consider it progressive rock. It’s definitely related to a lot of modern prog acts – at least the more atmospheric ones.
City Lights
Less proggy, this electronic piece is no less trippy. It’s a little lackluster, though.
Fox in a Box
The guitar is more prominent here and brings a bit of a psychedelic rock edge and some crunch to the piece. Otherwise, this lands in the same moody modern prog area.
Flight 143
One of the best songs of the set, the dreamy, proggy elements driving this are quite lush and potent. It’s not a big change in terms of vocal delivery or tempo, but there is enough variety here to make it special. Some of the vocal hooks are particularly catchy, too.
LillianĀ“s Last Lyric
Taken by itself, this trippy piece is quite good. It’s just that there has been too little change in tempo or vocal delivery from song to song and by this point, everything is starting to sound the same. That’s a shame because there are some cool moments here. It would be nice if they could stand out more.
Who Wants a Broken Boy
This song is more intricate and involved than some of the rest. It’s a bit more rocking, too. The main issue here is the vocals. It’s not that they are bad – they are not. It’s that they sound almost unchanged from every other song here. It’s all getting far too monolithic now.
Cocktail Party
Just the breath of fresh air we needed by this point, this number has a real jazzy kind of vibe to it. The vocal performance is altered enough to bring some variety, too. This stands out as one of the highlights of the set.
Runaway
I like the wandering guitar soloing on this piece. The arrangement has some intriguing electronic rock elements. The vocals do bring it down with their lack of variety, though. There is a cool little bit of vheesy pop music at the end.
Bar Keep
Although this piece feels a little odd and awkward at times, it’s quite cool. It has a mellower movement at the start, but then shifts to harder rocking stuff after that. The hard edged stuff is a bit chaotic and noisy, but also cool..
Blue
This is much more of a rocker. It’s well needed variety and one of the best songs here.
Steel Gray Sky
More of a mainstream pop rock number, this is another that brings some change to the disc. That makes it worthwhile for sure. It’s not one of my favorites, but it stands apart for its variety.
Atmospheric Disturbances
This closing instrumental is one of the most pure prog pieces here. It works through some variants before the sounds of a storm with artificial thunder take it to its close after holding it for quite a while.
 
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