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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Anthony Phillips

Private Parts and Pieces VIII: New England

Review by Gary Hill

This entry in the Private Parts and Pieces series is perhaps a bit better rounded than some of the rest are. For one thing, it's not entirely instrumental, a couple tunes have vocals. Secondly, there is less one musical arrangement (acoustic guitar, piano) dominating. This is just a nice soft rock album, really. Sure, it's more prog than it is anything else, but it has classical and folk music both built into it.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Aubade

This short piece is very atmospheric and quite pretty.

Infra Dig
More of a folk rock jam, this number is fast paced and lots of fun.
Sanctuary
Here we get a full rock arrangement. It's a soft rock sound, but it's quite a cool little pop rock piece really. I love the vocals and the variety that it brings to the table.
La Dolorosa
The intricate acoustic guitar patterns on this are both beautiful and powerful.               
New England Suite (I)
Fast paced folk styled music is the idea here. It's a cool acoustic guitar solo.
New England Suite (II)
This does continue the basic musical concept while moving it in new directions. It's energetic and fun.
New England Suite (III)
The closing movement does a lot to carry the theme of the first two parts. I think I like this one the best of the three. It does a good job of pulling it together.
Last Goodbyes
Here we get a piano solo that's very classical in tone and quite pretty.
Sunrise and Sea Monsters
I love the acoustic guitar that runs along at the heart of the first movement cut. This one lands very much in a jazzy kind of folk prog motif. A saxophone weaves some beautiful melodic lines. A dropped back movement around the three minute mark really does call to mind Genesis. As it approaches the five minute mark it fires out into fast paced prog jamming that has a lot of jazz built into it. It gets a little crazed. That crescendoes and we're eventually brought back to mellower territory from there. This instrumental works out to more of a fusion styled jam as it continues its steady march forward. This thing just keeps building and expanding. The piece is about ten and a half minutes in length and Phillips puts that time to good use.
Iona
This short instrumental feels a lot like Genesis. It's quite intricate and pretty.
Cathedral Woods
Here we get a very pretty and classically oriented piano solo.
If I Could Tell You
This is another piano based cut that's pretty.
Jaunty Roads

 Here we get a very short little acoustic guitar piece.        

Spirals
A piece that's very Genesis-like, this is quite pretty.
Pieces of Eight (I) Pressgang
This fast paced and playful bit has a lot of Celtic music built into it.
Pieces of Eight (II) Sargasso
This movement takes us more into intricate Genesis territory.
Pieces of Eight (III) Sea-Shanty
Delicate acoustic guitar weaves melodic lines of sound on this song. It's a nice way to resolve the suite in style.
In the Maze
This is an intricate instrumental with some jazz and Genesis stylings both built into the system.
Unheard Cry
A second song with vocals, this is very much a folk prog number. It's quite mellow, slow and pretty.
Now They've All Gone
Piano works out in a rather classically styled arrangement. This closer is a nice piano solo that works really well.
 
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