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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Rogue Valley

Radiate Dissolve

Review by Gary Hill

I really like this album. The sound has a cool mix of elements. Perhaps this isn't the tightest fit under prog rock, but it has a lot of dream-pop texture and is not that far removed from things like modern Radiohead. There are both male and female vocals on this album, but the male ones are heard on the majority of the songs over the female ones. In addition to the trippy elements there are a lot of leanings toward more roots music based stuff like folk and blues. The combination is compelling and effective.

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
The Brightest Stars

Starting with spacey sort of atmospherics, this works out to a cool folk meets space music kind of arrangement. It's tastefully trippy and very strong.

Host

The same mix of sounds is present here, but this one rocks out more. I suppose some Americana and perhaps even hints of surf music and Latin sounds both show up here. In a lot of ways this feels like something that could have come out in the late 60s or early 70s.

Pulse
While spacey elements still reign on the outer edges of this piece, it's rooted in an earthy, mainstream kind of vibe. There is actually a good amount of modern pop rock installed within this piece.
Bury Your Heart
Alternative rock merges with trippy space stuff here. There is a lot of old school blues built into this, too. It really reminds me of the Peter Green era of Fleetwood Mac in a lot of ways.
Loom
The same blend of folk rock and modern alternative stuff is heard here. I love the mix of sounds on this one. It's one of the more effective pieces in a lot of ways. There are some Latin horn based movements on this thing, too.
Breathe
Percussion brings this one into being. As the guitar joins there is an old school rock and roll vibe to it. The vocals bring some psychedelia to the table in some ways. This energetic and soaring at the same time. It feels like something the Beatles might have done in their more psychedelic times to me. It gets even more psychedelic later.
Transference

There is no huge change here. This is more of that same trippy kind of Americana. It's a very effective piece of music, really.

Blood Moon
The vocals on this one are mostly of the female variety. Beyond that, this is an energized number drenched in psychedelic elemetns.
Cold Windows
Another that feels like a relic from a bygone era, this is still fresh at the same time. I can really make out a lot of early Hawkwind on this thing. I love some of the more soaring moments here.
Planet
Starting mostly acapella, there is a growing rhythmic element at the start. Eventually more melody joins. By the time it gets to the second verse some Americana based music has joined. It eventually gets some jazzy things introduced with some rather Latin sounds on a later instrumental break.
Vainglory
More of a pop rock sort of psychedelia permeates this. I really love the vocal arrangement on this one. It kind of makes me think of the Dream Academy a bit. This is perhaps not the most creative thing here, but is one of the best songs in terms of its catchiness.
Radiate Dissolve
The female vocals return on this cut, a mellower number. The horn sounds bring more of that Latin element to play. It is suitably trippy and dreamy in nature. The closing atmospheric section is full-on psychedelia.
 
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