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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Ivory Tower Project

How Much More?

Review by Gary Hill

This act is billed as "classic rock." I'm not sure that is a real genre. I mean classic rock radio stations only play old music, not new music in that style. All that said, I can see their point. To a large degree this feels like something that could have been released in the 1970s or 1980s. I will say that not everything here is prog, but there is enough AOR prog styled stuff for me to include this in that genre. Besides, it seems to me that fans of 70s prog would be a target audience for these guys. Overall, this is an effective set. I will say that the music works better than the vocals do. Those vocals are just sort of inconsistent, leaving a bit to be desired at times while working well at others.
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Track by Track Review
How Much More?

The sounds of wind open this. The cut rises up from there with a cool, rather trippy, mellow proggy sound. The vocals come in over the piano, bringing a balladic sound to it. The piece works through like that for a while. As it nears the two minute mark it fires out into a hard rocking jam that's very much vintage arena rock. The multiple layered vocal arrangement adds a lot. So does the crunchy section later. The vocal part returns after a bit to a powerful iteration of the themes. There is a smoking hot movement at the end with both keyboard and guitar soloing.

The Ides of March (Et Tu Brute?)
Hard rock and AOR prog blend on this number. It has a nice balance between mellower and more rocking stuff. There is some classy guitar soloing built into this number.
Gotcha' (Full Length Remix)
There is a lot of funk along with some space rock and electronic prog in the mix here. This is cool stuff and a nice change. It has some harder rocking stuff built into it, too.
Ring Around Rosie
For some reason, this rocker makes me think of Styx a bit. It's a straight-ahead rocker. This is arguably a song without any prog in the mix. Still, it's quite classic in sound.
Way Too Late (Full Length Remix)
I love the hard rocking sound of this thing. It has a lot of AOR prog elements. There are things about this that make me think of Deep Purple. The galloping riff on this is classic.
This one is more of a power ballad. It does have enough prog elements to keep things based in that territory. That said, this resembles the kind of thing Journey used to do in a lot of ways.
When Friends Become Lovers
More rocking, this is a fairly straightforward number. It has a real classic rock vibe to it. It's one of a couple songs here without much prog built into it.
Please Tell Me
Prog and mainstream rock merge on this number that has a good balance between rocking and mellower sounds.
Woman of the Times
This has some smoking hot funk, merging with rock, proggy elements and jazz. It's a killer number. In fact, this is one of the most successful tunes here.
Burning (Full Length Remix)

The saxophone adds some serious magic to this AOR tune. This thing oozes cool.

Surf Song
Take some surf music and give it a bit of a prog rock twist. You'll find yourself in the midst of this killer instrumental. I love this song.
You Can See It in My Eyes (Remix)

AOR prog merged with a jazzy texture is the idea here. This is more of a ballad. It has some great saxophone bits.

Le Dare Un Anillo A Rosi
With lyrics in Spanish, this is a cool rock tune. It has a bit of world music along with some proggy tendencies. It's actually a different version of "Ring Around Rosie."
My Name (DJ Distortion Remix)
I like this quite a bit. It's more of a pure bit of electronica. Perhaps it goes on a bit long, though.
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