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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Luca Bash

Keys of Mine

Review by Gary Hill

The vocals on this set have a definite reggae element, but the music for the most part is not set in that style. The music is also not confined to any one style, except the wide ranging pop rock heading. Everything here works well, and there are some songs that really shine. All in all, this is a special set of music with an intriguing blend of sounds.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Backstage
An alternative rock meets pop vibe sets the scene here. While the vocals have a bit of that reggae element to them, the music, though, is more soulful pop rock. This is a classy tune with a lot of retro textures. There are definitely some jazzy textures here.
Beyond the Screen
There is some funk built into this number. It's another classic sounding, timeless piece. It has a great groove to it. The horn soloing really brings some definite jazz to the table.
Your Tomorrow
A much mellower tune, this has more of that classic pop rock sound in the mix. While this is also effective, I like the two pieces that preceded it better. That said, the sax solo is tasty.
Paradise Cafè
This lands more into the vein of alternative rock. It makes me think of a lot of acts like Hootie and the Blowfish and Blues Traveler. Yet it still has some definite soulful pop elements at its core. This is energized and one of the highlights of the set.
Forever Like Asleep
This cut is just so classy. It has a great organ sound. The vocal performance is among the best of the disc. That's a good thing because the song itself is exceptional. In fact, it's one of the best of the set.
The Sun's Everlasting Smile
There is a bit of a reggae vibe to the music here, but it's not the whole picture. There are hints of progressive rock here. There is also a lot of jazz in the mix. This is a melodic number that's quite effective.
Women's Way (Nu Shu)
While the vocals continue in the same style as they have throughout, there is a proggy jazz vibe to this musically. It makes me think of Traffic just a bit.
Forever Like Asleep
There is a bit of a psychedelia meets space rock element on this number. It's another particularly effective piece of music.
Black Swan's Walls
A higher energy cut, there is plenty of jazz and rock merged in the mix of this. I like this one a lot. I can make out more of that Hootie and the Blowfish kind of  thing here. The dropped back section is a tasty break.
Jekyll & Hyde
Dramatic and powerful, this is a slow moving cut. It has a lot of emotional and musical power built into it. The closing section in particular is a real powerhouse.
Crumblin' Lover
Based on acoustic guitar, this is a bluesy number.
Millennium Idiot
Bring the funk. This is a funky powerhouse. It's so much fun. In fact, it's one of my favorites here. It becomes a real screamer as it works its way forward.
In My Place
Jazz and pop rock all merge on this melodic number. This is another classy piece of music.
Love and Lust
I love the funky bass on this cut. There is a definite jazzy vibe at play here, too. The keyboard solo bit brings some space rock. There is an acoustic guitar drop back segment, too. All in all , this is another highlight.
Upwind
Energetic and jazzy this is another that has quite a bit of that Hootie and the Blowfish kind of thing underway. It's a cool cut, and a great way to end things in style.
 
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