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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Adam Levy

Naubinway

Review by Gary Hill

There is a very wide range of music on this album. It starts with folk styled music, works into bluegrass and then goes all kinds of places from there. We get psychedelia, prog rock and a lot more. Yet, it all seems to work together. There are some exceptional pieces on this set, and nothing that I’d call “weak.” That makes for quite an entertaining release overall.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Take It as It Comes

Folky, and quite minimalist, this still manages to somehow to rock just a bit. It’s pretty and poignant. The only issue I have with this song is that it seems to go on a bit too long.

Potter's Field
I love the intricate energy on this song. It’s closer to bluegrass in a lot of ways. Sure, it’s still a folk song, but this is quite tied to bluegrass. It really feels like something that might have been created in the 1960s. It’s timeless, really, though. This one is worth the price of admission all by itself.
Atoms Never Die
Now, this brings some serious variety. It starts with an almost progressive rock build-up. Then it works out to more of psychedelic rock meets prog arrangement. It’s a powerhouse in a lot of ways. There is a dreamy, trippy, space rock element at play here, too.
This Friend
The opening section of this is more in the acoustic style. It’s still got a lot of 1960s psychedelia built into it. The arrangement gets fuller later, but this remains a very psychedelic styled tune. This would have definitely been at home alongside the music of bands like The Jefferson Airplane. Which doesn’t mean that this sounds like them. It’s more than it complements that kind of sound.
When Your Well Runs Dry
Starting with just piano and voice for the first verse, this really feels like something The Beatles might have done to me. It is another strong cut and another bit of variety.
How I Let You Down
Another acoustic guitar based song, this starts quite folky. As it grows out to more of a pop song, it again makes me think of The Beatles.
Pitch Black Path
This one again feels like it would be right at home in the 1960s. It starts with mellow, folky type sounds. It grows out to some killer psychedelia. It’s the kind of thing that feels related to early Pink Floyd in a lot of ways. It’s another highlight.
Eucatastrophe
Weird piano starts this tentatively. The cut grows out from there very gradually with some sounds bringing psychedelia to it. That noisy kind industrial sound takes control for a bit. Then synthesized elements bring melody before the acoustic guitar takes control.  The cut grows out into another great bit of psychedelic infused pop rock. A weird psychedelic section takes it at the end.
Marigold
This lands mire in the territory of a mellow folk rocker. There are other elements at play, too. I suppose in a lot of ways it’s a pop song. There are hints of psychedelia and even a little country. Of course, that doesn’t take into account the short hard rocking jam right at the end that’s very much a full on psychedelic treatment.
Clemens in Plainview
With a lot of country and bluegrass in the mix, this is a cool retro sounding mellow rocker.
I Wish You Well
Country music, mainstream folk rock and some psychedelia all merge on this accessible piece. It’s another strong one.
Handful of Sand
This is a wall constructed and performed pop rock piece. It’s another that makes me think of The Beatles a bit. That said, there is a lot of country and folk built in this, too.
Naubinway
A very sad song, this is a folk styled cut. I really like this one a lot.
 
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