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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Sarah Donner

This Is A Pegasus

Review by Gary Hill

This is a fairly artsy set. It works quite well, too. Folk, bluegrass, pop, rock and more show up here. It’s all delivered with potent vocals, and solid songwriting. Not everything here is a full winner, but it’s all pretty darn good.

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
Signal

The set opens with a mid-tempo pop rock number. This is good and has a cool powered up section. It’s just not the kind of quick grabber that works best as an opener.

With Pride
There’s a lot of ragtime and bluegrass in the mix on this. It has a very old time texture on the first section. Then, it burst out to a more contemporary arrangement. It still retains some of the country element, but is brought more into mainstream music. This is a song about gay rights – or more specifically about tolerance. It’s a very positive message.
Perfect Time
This is more of a modern rock piece. It’s a good tune and arguably the most mainstream number to this point. I like it a lot. There is a folk element here, but also somewhat of a progressive rock bent.
Perspective
Modern pop rock blends with folk music on this energetic number.
The Rebuttal of Schrödinger's Cat
Folk music is mixed with more modern elements here. This is bouncy, fun and a little weird. It’s quite playful.
Let Him Go
Playful ragtime and folk music based, this even has a kazoo solo. Although this is fun, I don’t really like it.
Sightlines
An energized folk rock tune, this isn’t any kind of huge departure. That said, it’s one of the more effective pieces here.
Daniel

More of a rocker, this is just sort of middle of the road in terms of quality. Not only that, but the formula is starting to wear a bit thin by this point in the set.           

Things to Believe In
Another folky tune, this is just not all that exceptional either.
Seine
Donner definitely redeems herself here. This song has a more modern sound. The arrangement is full and lush, and the whole piece just works really well. This is one of the best tracks of the whole set.
Plain Man
Another exceptional piece, this has a powerful arrangement. There are moments where it’s gentle and delicate. There are others where it really soars. It’s a beautiful song and another highlight.
Misunderstood
There is more folk and bluegrass at the start of this, but the arrangement builds beyond that. This one is sort of back in the familiar mold, though. It suffers a bit from that.
Rogue
Another based more on the folk side of the  equation, this is definitely too much like a lot of the rest to really stand out.
 
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