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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Michael Cullen

Michael P. Cullen - Do You Believe (digital single)

Review by Gary Hill

It should be noted that I previously reviewed music from this artist that was released under the name "Michael Cullen." Since that name is set into our database, this review is filed under it to avoid confusion, but Cullen is now going as "Michael P. Cullen."

This new single is quite tough to classify. I've landed it under progressive rock because the dreamy, trippy, dense sonic structure isn't far removed from either acts like Porcupine Tree or the shoegaze genre. When I reviewed his previous work, it had some proggy tendencies, but I ultimately landed it under the "non prog" heading. That's irrelevant, though, because I'm just reviewing this piece. It's quite a moody, yet oddly uplifting number. It's hard to even pin it down to an era as it would feel just as comfortable in an 80s environment as it does today. The take-away is, don't try to hard to classify this. Just enjoy it.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at:

Track by Track Review
Do You Believe
This is quite an intriguing song with an interesting mix of sounds. It's dark and rather dreamy. There is a rocking guitar sound at the start. That moves out into a mode that has elements of modern progressive rock. There are definitely 80s music things at play here, too. The vocals at times have a bit of a punk sneer, but overall land more in the melodic end of things. The repetitive hook really draws the listener into it. I can hear things like The Cure here, but also textures like Porcupine Tree. The blend of sounds is both unique and oddly familiar. The cut is catchy and yet has plenty of meat built into it. There is a much harder rocking movement after the two minute mark that even brings some metal into the mix.  
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