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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Andriana Lehr


Review by Gary Hill

I like this set quite a bit. It probably lands under folk music more than anything else, but it touches on country, psychelia and things like shoegaze and dream pop, too. The vocals on this most closely resemble Judy Collins. I'd say that fans of Collins would be a definite potential listener group for this album. This is really quite strong stuff that has a bit of a modern edge, but is firmly rooted in classic old-school sounds.
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Track by Track Review
Outrun The Change

As this comes in it feels a bit like some kind of a psychedelic rocker from the 60s. It drops to more of a folk based sound as the vocals enter. The overlayers of sound bring more of that psychedelia into it. There is a bit of soulful element to the vocals. Overall, though, this really feels like something that could have come out of the hippie movement of the 1960s.

Ready to Be
Take the mix of the first song. Take out the psychedelia. Replace it with a bit of country Americana. Add in a bit more of a modern flavor. You are in the right territory for this one. It's another effective number.
Ashes in the Fog
Here is another piece with country in the mix. In fact, there is even more of that commodity here. Beyond that, this is a mellower folk ballad with some hints of dream pop.
Catch 22
This cut seems to be about addiction. It has a lot of cool slide guitar. There is plenty of Americana built into this. Yet, there is more of that soaring dream-pop kind of thing here, too. This is more energized than the last song. It still has a lot of folk rock built into it.
Bright Yellow Lights
There is a jazzy element at play here. The start of this makes me think of early Pink Floyd a little. It works out some killer rocking music that has some of that Floyd element at play. There is a soulful thing here, too. This is a big change, but it's also very effective. It manages to "fit" with the rest of it, too.
Halfway Home
There is sort of a dark shoe-gaze meets Americana and folk vibe here. I guess comparisons to Mazzy Star would be appropriate. This is a strong cut and another side of the sound.
Putting Up a Fight
Piano starts this cut and holds it by itself as the vocals join. This is a powerful and evocative ballad. It's quite pretty, but without sacrificing vitality.
Since You've Been Gone
There is plenty of country music here. I suppose the easiest description of this would be folk music. It's a classy cut that builds into something pretty special. I really dig some of the guitar work on this number, and it gets powerful before it ends.
Streets of Saint Paul
More of a pure folk rock tune, this one isn't quite as strong as some of the others. The vocals work well, but beyond that, it's a bit less interesting than the competition.
The Expansion of Everything
On the one hand, this is one of the more basic and mellow folk styled tunes. The thing is, this manages to grow (dare I say "expand?") more than a lot of the other music here. This is a very powerful piece. It really makes for a great closing number.


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