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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Gretchen’s Wheel

Fragile State

Review by Gary Hill

This is a fairly effective set, but it does tend to get a little samey at points. Overall, though, the mix of country, roots rock and more is good. There aren’t any really bad songs here, but some are better than others. It would be better if there were more variety in tempo and style, though. That would help to break up the monotony a little.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Second to Last

Country, gospel, roots rock and a lot more merge on this great piece. It’s got some solid hooks and a powerful vocal performance. This is very timeless in sound.

Pretend
More of a mellow pop rock sound makes up this piece. There is a dreamy element to it. It’s more decidedly modern, yet there is still a retro quality here.
One More Mile
Dreamy alternative rock mixes with Americana and more on this piece. It’s a classy number that’s decidedly more modern.
My Lullaby
There is a lot of folk and country in the mix here. The vocals really sell this one.
Masquerade Waltz
This has more of that dreamy modern sound. It’s not very retro at all, but it still feels classic in some ways.
The Fourth Wall
The early sections of this are a little lackluster to my ears, but it gets into some Americana tinged spacey music later that’s very classy.
Let Me Believe
I love the trippy elements to this cut. The vocal arrangement is magical, too. This dreamy number is one of my favorites here, really. The piano on this piece is noteworthy, too.
Why Try
Although I do like the energy and the guitar soloing on this number quite a bit, the formula is starting to wear a bit thin. Still, this has one of the better vocal performances.
No Difference
Somehow this retro tinged dreamy number brings things back to the world of greatness.
Overcome
More of a melodic, almost ballad like number, the monolithic nature haunts this one a bit.
Total Loss
The best was saved for last. This is a real powerhouse piece. It’s packed with great music and emotion. There are so many layers to this and things going on that it is just amazing. This cut is worth the price of admission all by itself.
 
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