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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Auburn

Mixed Feelings

Review by Gary Hill

The argument could almost be made to land this under progressive rock. It’s definitely progressive music. It’s based on things like country and folk. There are a couple songs that definitely fit as progressive rock. However you label this set, though, it’s quite strong. This is both artistic and almost homey. It’s earthy and ethereal at the same time. It’s always entertaining, too.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Mixed Feelings

There is a cool bluesy guitar vibe to this, complete with slides. The vocals brings an alternative rock element that’s quite cool. This is artsy yet Earthy and grounded.

Love Lost its Way
Combine Curved Air with a mainstream bluesy rock vibe. You are pretty close to the idea behind this song. It just oozes cool. I really love the psychedelia turned jazz instrumental break. The guitar fills are particularly noteworthy, too. This is one of the highlights of the set.
New Years Day
Country, blues and gospel merge on this number. It’s quite a pretty and strong piece. It’s just not at the same level as the previous one. It’s a song about domestic abuse.
Friends
More of an artsy piece, this is rather like folk prog. It’s mellower than some of the rest, but it’s a good bit of variety. It’s also a classy tune.
Hell Hath No Fury
I would call this song, “The Stalker from Hell.” It’s a fast paced and rather fun bluegrass turned country kind of piece.
Crystal Stairs
Another artsy number, this lands near the prog folk heading. It still has country and more in the mix. I really dig the organ mid=track. In fact, the whole rather retro jazzy instrumental section is great.
Lovers Lullaby
This slow, mellow tune has a lot of jazz blended with classical music and more. It’s very much an old time sounding piece. It’s another that lands on the artsy side of the spectrum.
Out There
More of an electric number, this is great. It’s one of the highlights here. It combines Americana, country and old school rock and roll in a modern, alternative kind of arrangement..
More Than Everything

One of the more modern pieces here, this still has some classic soulful sounds. There is a lot of jazz in the mix. It’s both one of the more artsy cuts and one of the more mainstream. It’s also a highlight of the set.

Wood for the Trees
Rocking with a lot of country and bluegrass in the mix, this is an energetic and particularly effective cut. It’s another of my favorites on the disc.
Quiet Life
This piece is quite definitely progressive rock. It’s intricate and quite beautiful. It’s both a change from a lot of the rest and a highlight. It has jazz and more in the mix. It’s just so cool.
Feel the Sun
 Country, jazz and more blend in this closing cut. It has some great slide guitar, too
 
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