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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Great Depression

In a Starry State

Review by Gary Hill

I suppose the most obvious audience for this would be fans of modern alternative rock based prog like Radiohead. There is a good mix of sounds here, though. Things like The Church, The Beatles and a lot more merge here. It’s great stuff for prog fans with a sense of adventure.

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
Discorporate Melody

With spoken vocals, this is a trippy piece of music. It’s largely ambient, but quite powerful in a lot of ways.

Hey Go Easy (Serpentina)
There is more of an alternative rock vibe to this, and a lot more energy. That said, it still makes me think of modern prog like Radiohead quite a bit. This is cool stuff that still has some trippiness to it.
New Salem
The opening of this is full on progressive rock. From there it gets more into alternative rock, but there is still enough of a prog vibe here to land the cut under the modern angle of that genre. I love the changes on this, and it’s another strong cut on a set full of them.
Visiting on Davenports
This cut is dreamy and layered with a lot of sounds. There is an 80s vibe blended with something like the psychedelic era of the Beatles and modern progressive rock. It’s a nice change, but not one of my favorites here.
Something Like Shame
I love the vocal section that opens this song. As it works out from there, it makes me think of a cross between modern prog and something like The Church.
In A Starry State
The title track is more of a dreamy, trippy modern prog piece. I like this a lot. It has some catchy elements and some meat in the mix.
Discorporate Melody Reprise
With more spoken vocals, this reminds me in a way of some of the old Moody Blues stuff. It’s trippy and dramatic and quite space oriented.
Psirene
More trippy music, this combines 80s music with modern prog to great effect.
Thirteen Bells
An energetic cut, this has a lot more alternative rock in the mix. Still, there are enough nods to modern prog to keep it near to that genre. I definitely hear a lot of 80s music here, too. The Cure comes to mind a bit as a reference.
A Dreamy Brochure for Elsewhere
I love this piece. It’s definitely a modern progressive rock number. It is rather experimental, but also catchy. The vocals are mostly spoken or nearly spoken. The musical arrangement is intricate.
Philip K Disco
This is more in line with the alternative rock end of the equation, but it’s still somewhat proggy. There are definitely space rock elements at play.
Sophia and the Fool
A satisfying closer, this does a great job of combining modern alternative pop rock with space music and more.
 
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