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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Terry Draper

Searching

Review by Gary Hill

It’s a safe bet that most people know of Terry Draper from his work with Klaatu. This album in many ways feels more like his old band than some of his other solo albums have. It’s a great album no matter how you slice it, though. Is it progressive rock? Maybe not, but some of it qualifies. I’m including it there because of the Klaatu link, the fact that it should appeal to prog fans and the prog elements that are present. There are more pop oriented sections, but it’s always classic in approach really.

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
All We Can Do

Mellow atmospheric tones bring this into being. From there acoustic guitar rises up to serve as the backdrop for the vocals. This is a proggy mellow number that has a lot of Beatles like sound built into on these earlier mellow sections. It gets some harder edged prog stuff as it continues. It wouldn’t be a big stretch to imagine this cut as a song from Draper’s old band. It’s catchy, but it’s also proggy. It’s a great melodic rocker.

Monogamous Me
This is a bouncy kind of old school jazz tune. It’s fun and very retro in style.
Such a Night
Here we get another mid-tempo rocker. This has a great smooth, almost trippy vibe to it. It’s catchy and quite classic in nature. There are some cool shifts and changes. Yet, the whole “this is fun” vibe remains throughout.
I Would Be King
Now, this dramatic and theatrical progressive meets psychedelic tune really does feel like a long lost Klaatu song. It’s such an unusual, yet catchy piece of music.
All for Love
 On the one hand, this is more of a pure pop song. That said, it’s got plenty of psychedelic rock influence in it. The duet on this is classy.
Mother's Day
With symphonic treatments, this balladic number is another with a lot of psychedelia in it. It is also another that would have been at home on a Klaatu album.
Jules & Me
If the last song sounded like some lost Klaatu song, you haven’t heard anything yet. This has the same kind of proggy pop rock vibe that was such a big part of the Klaatu catalog. It has Beatles-like elements, psychedelia and all the familiar things. This is such a great song and so much in keeping with the Klaatu sound. The “Jules” in the title must certainly be Jules Verne.
What Will Be
Here we get more of the same type of proggy, psychedelic based pop rock. It’s another melodic mid-tempo piece that feels like something from Klaatu. I love the vocal arrangement, but the whole song works really well.
Our Park Bench
Spacey, a bit on the symphonic side, this is an unusual ballad. It’s quite proggy, but also very mainstream in approach. It’s a pretty cut and a nice change of pace.
Love Wins
More of the psychedelically based prog rock we expect here, this is another solid tune on a disc of solid music.
Searching
The title track is more trippy and psychedelic than the bulk of the album. It’s both the kind of music one expects from Klaatu and a Beatles-like number. It’s one of the cooler cuts here. In that way, it stands out nicely. It’s fairly complex, eventually working out to a more melodic jam. It’s arguably one of the most decidedly prog pieces here, too.
Younger Girl, Flower Girl
This one doesn’t work as well for me as the rest do. It has a real 1960s pop music vibe to me. It feels a little silly and awkward to me. I suppose if you are a big fan of things like The Beach Boys and other 60s pop bands, you would probably like this. It’s just not my thing. It’s very well done, though.
Everything Will Be Alright
Now, this is more like it. It’s another pop rock tune that has a lot of psychedelic rock and more built into it. It’s catchy, but also has plenty of meat on its bones.
Swami River
Complete with tabla and sitar, this is a trippy bit of 1960s psychedelia. It is essentially an instrumental, but does include some non-lyrical, Indian styled female vocals in the mix.
 
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