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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Fish on Friday

Quiet Life

Review by Gary Hill

This is an intriguing album. It's very effective and accessible. Yet, it is pure prog rock in so many ways. This isn't far removed from stuff like Pink Floyd, but it also calls to mind Porcupine Tree. Yet, it's produced by Alan Parsons, and there are trademarks of that kind of sound in place, too. All in all, this is classy stuff.
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Track by Track Review

An ambient texture leads this out of the gate. Piano joins to create some beautiful melodies as the piece moves forward from there. It shifts to more of a rock based sound as it continues, but the layers of texture make it clear that this is pure progressive rock. It drops way down to something that makes me think of Pink Floyd just a bit for the vocals. As this continues to evolve that Pink Floyd element remains, but I'm reminded of things like Porcupine Tree, too. A powered up jam later has some killer melodic guitar soloing built into it. A melodic dropped down section emerges at the end of that for the next vocals. They power it up again after that movement.

Sweet Love
While there is a bit more of mainstream pop rock sound to this cut, it still has plenty of modern prog elements built into it. I love the vibe and textures of this piece. It is much more easily accessible as the first song, but it's still meaty enough to land under prog rock. Lula Beggs adds her vocals here as a guest.
Textural sounds and piano lead this off in a mellow way. There are other elements that join. By the time the vocals come into it, it feels a bit like The Beatles meet Pink Floyd to me. The cut grows into some powerful modes at times, but returns to the mellower stuff, too. There are some great symphonic elements later in the track. This music works through a lot of shifts and changes. It's all especially effective and compelling, though.
Quiet Life
Backtracked stuff is heard at the opening of this, serving as ambience. Piano joins and then the vocals. After a while of moving forward in a fairly straight-line way, this powers out into some seriously rocking prog that seems to reach upward. By around the half-way mark it has dropped back down for the next vocal movement. Lula Beggs returns on this tune. It grows in some great ways as the cut works forward.
Snowed In
Here is another song with a lot of pop music in the mix. It's a balladic cut that's much more mainstream and accessible. It still has prog in the dreamy kind of arrangement, though.
Get Up
I love the energetic groove that starts this. There is a bit of a jazzy element to it. Some smoking hot modern prog rock emerges later in the tune. There is a really soaring vibe to this. In some ways it makes me think of something Chris Squire might have written.
Mh 17
A mainstream pop rock meets melodic prog vibe is the idea here. There are some jazzy elements at times in the number. It gets more powered up and rocking as it continues, but never rises above the level of melodic rock.
You've Hurt Me
This comes in with a bit of electronic vibe, but it grows outward with more organic elements. A chunk of this lands in the mellower, more understated territory, but it powers out to more rocking stuff later. There are parts of this that feel to me like something Billy Sherwood might write.
In the Key of Silence

Melodic prog is the concept here. This one actually does feel like something Parsons himself would have done. It's a great tune and another side of the band, while still feeling like it fits.

Time Out
This mellow cut is another that wouldn't have been out of place in an Alan Parsons Project album. It's quite pretty.
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