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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Baskerville Jones

Mile 1

Review by Gary Hill

I like this set quite a bit. The vocals are without question the best thing here, but that doesn’t mean they are the only thing good. They just shine well beyond everything else. I have reviewed one of these songs as a single release, too. For the sake of consistency, the track review of that song is used from that review.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Mile 1

This opener is just so classy. The rocking acoustic guitar sound here is so vintage sounding. The vocals bring soul and rock to the piece along with a lot of style. The overall texture isn’t far from jazz in a lot of ways. It’s just a powerful song. That’s really a function of the multiple layers of vocals because only that rocking guitar accompanies.

So Right
This single has such a cool classic sound to it. The vibe is part jazz, part reggae and all energy. It’s the clear and quite musical vocal delivery that really sells the piece. Multiple layers of vocals deliver emotion and energy. The piece has a fairly stripped back arrangement, but it’s quite retro in sounds in a lot of ways. It wouldn’t be out of the question to compare this to something like Rickie Lee Jones, but just in terms of the musical territory. However you slice it, though, this is a great piece of music.
Masquerade
A mellower tune, this is much jazzier than the previous two songs were. The vocals are still the star here. This one does have a little bit of an overproduced element at times, but it’s never enough to really detract from the power of the piece.
On This Day
This is a change for sure. It’s a mellow, jazzy, soulful ballad. The only accompaniment for the vocals here is a piano. It’s another strong cut on a disc that has no weak music.
It's Gonna Rain
The folk rock musical arrangement here is the most involved of anything here. There is a real gospel vibe to this cut. It’s a powerful number, really.
It's Gonna Rain (Instrumental)
As advertised, here we get an instrumental version of the previous tune. This is clearly the best choice for an instrumental version of any song here because of the complexity of the arrangement. There is some great acoustic guitar work on this.
On This Day (Instrumental)
Another instrumental take, this time it’s the piano ballad that gets that treatment. While there isn’t quite as much substance to the instrumental version as there was on the previous cut, the jazz really shines on this rendition. It is quite pretty, but seems to go on a bit long without the vocals.
 
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