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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Anthony Phillips

Private Parts and Piece VII: Slow Waves, Soft Stars

Review by Gary Hill

This set from the Private Parts and Pieces series is a bit less cohesive than some of the others. A lot of this leans toward New Age music, with electronic space sounds dominating big chunks. Yet there is a section where we're taken into acoustic guitar based music. All in all, this is good, but not one of my favorites of the series. It is a nice change, though.

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
Ice Flight

           
(I) Flight of the Snow Petrel: Glacier Bay

Trippy electronic music creates something akin to space sounds here. This is like new age in so many ways. It's pretty and echoey and very trippy.

(Ii) Flight of the Whale-Birds: Blizzard Mountain
The synthetic elements still drive this. The piece is less spacey in a lot of ways. It's still set very much new wave sort of territory, though. There are some different movements here.
(III) Flight of the Albatross: Ice Island
This is the shortest movement of the suite. It's not a huge change, either.
(IV) White Heaven
The atmospheric, textural elements driving this piece are pretty.
(V) Cathedral of Ice
This is a pretty piece of music. It's still set in the same textural territory, but it has some great melodies.
Beachrunner
Intricate acoustic guitar drives this. The accompanying layers of sound and this somewhere in between the music we've heard to this point of this album and the acoustic guitar based stuff of Parts and Pieces V.
End of the Affair
This one brings us back further into the atmospheric directions. Acoustic guitar does manage to weave some rather classical elements into this piece of music.
The Golden Pathway
Here we have another atmospheric musical adventure.        
Behind the Waterfall
This really does feel like being behind a waterfall. There is a steady wash of sound that gets intensified by something that could be seen as the water hitting the ground.
Carnival
Now here we're in more folk rock styled sounds. It's acoustic guitar based and feels like traveling music.
Through the Black Hole
Here we get a real space journey. It's pretty trippy stuff.
Pluto Garden
The atmospheric new age styled elements here really make me think of Mike Oldfield at times.
Sospirando
This acoustic guitar solo makes me think of an old Christmas carol at times. There is also a bit of a Spanish flair here.
Elevenses

Here is another intricate acoustic guitar solo. It's quite pretty.

Goodbye Serenade
Mellow acoustic guitar intricacies make up this pretty song.
Bubble and Squeak

This is fast paced and fun. It's very much a folk music styled thing.

Vanishing Streets
A pretty atmospheric cut this is more in keeping with the earlier sounds of the disc.
Slow Waves, Soft Stars
The title track comes in with more synthetic textural sounds. It moves forward slowly and methodically on that sort of track.
 
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