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Non-Prog CD Reviews

William Night

Live from the Second Floor Part 1

Review by Gary Hill

This isn’t a live disc at all. That’s a bit confusing, but also kind of a cool little twist on the title scenario. This is basically modern pop music, but there is quite a bit of range here. It definitely has a tendency (as most music in that genre these days) to be a bit overproduced. For the most part, though, it’s not really a problem. There are some particularly strong pieces and some that don’t work quite as well. All in all, I’d love to hear this whole set with less production tricks. Still, it’s reasonably good either way.

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
Hold Tight

This has some particularly pretty moments. It’s sort of part folk meets singer/songwriter tune. It’s more directly modern pop music. With that comes some overproduction that I think cheapens the cut. Still, it manages to shine despite that. It does rock out more in the later sections, too. It’s a pretty strong piece. I’d just love to hear with a less heavy hand on the production.

Trouble on my Mind
This is more of a straightforward rocker. It still has some of that trendy element, but overall is a better cut than the opener was, in part because it feels less “messed with.”
Lay me Down
A mellow ballad, this has a bit of a soulful element on the vocals. It’s still steeped in modern pop music. Personally, I’d say it falls somewhere between the first and second songs in terms of its effectiveness.
Someone Else's Love
This is more of a rocking cut. It’s still set in modern pop territory in some ways, but it’s also more alternative rock based. It’s one of the best songs here, really.
In Tennessee
Modern pop music based, this is more of a ballad. It doesn’t really grab me all that well. That said, it’s not as overproduced as some of the rest are.
Outro Pt. 1
A big change, acoustic guitar serves as the backdrop for a rap. This is a short piece, and one of the most intriguing ones here.
Cadi Crash
This will probably sit well with some of the pop music crowd. I find it to be annoyingly over-produced. The song structure doesn’t really seem like the kind of thing that fits as a hit, though. It’s actually rather complex and doesn’t follow a simple pattern. I’d love to hear this with a more “real” mix.

 

 
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