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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Swelo

Helvetica

Review by Gary Hill

This is very much artsy music. At times it’s strange. At times, it is more mainstream. Alternative rock, electronic music, hip hop and more collide on this. Perhaps the best reference would be Outkast, but honestly that doesn’t apply to the whole album. How ever you label this, though, it’s creative and intriguing. It’s also entertaining.

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
Never Seen This Place

A sparse electronic section that makes me think of Laurie Anderson opens this. After the verse the arrangement fills out to lush electronic music. It drops back down for the second verse. This is an intriguing cut. It’s a little odd, but also compelling. The multiple layers of vocals at times lend some magic.

Not Scared
As this starts it feels very jazzy. The vocals get some tinkering that’s a bit annoying. This cut turns to sort of a combination of modern electronic pop and stuff like Laurie Anderson.
Color of Your Eyes
I like this song. That said, it’s a bit weird. It has some of the same electronic elements we’ve heard throughout, but blended with more weird modern alternative music. This is an intriguing cut. It’s not an immediate “grabber,” but it gets under your skin.
#Bangerz
This has a real hip hop vibe to it. It really remands me of Outkast quite a bit.  It’s energetic and fun.
Helvetica
Slower and a bit mellower, this is more pure electronic. That said, there still seems to be a bit of a hip hop vibe to it (reminding me a little of Outkast again) but without the rap.
10 AM
There’s a bit of a jazzy, mellow groove to this. It again calls Outkast up to my mind. It’s a great fun tune.
Fish Tacos
This mellow groove is soulful. It’s also got some definite hip hop built into it. It’s not my favorite here, but it does represent change and is a good tune.
Book of Ocean
Another mellow groove, this is among the most mainstream pieces here. It has a cool vibe and works pretty well.
Who We Are
This is fairly mellow, too. It’s also one of the strangest and most alien sounding pieces here. It’s an oddity, but a tasty one at that.
Honesty
This cut is more like the songs that opened the set. It’s very much electronic music, and a little odd. It’s also soulful.
Go
Hip hop and spacey electronics combine on this number. It’s a little odd, but works reasonably well.
Werewolf Weekday
Another that merges electronic pop with hip hop, this is good, but not one of my favorites.
 
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