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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Ghostly Beard

Inward

Review by Gary Hill

This is the latest album from Ghostly Beard. Ghostly Beard is basically one guy - Patrick Talbot. This album seems a bit more mainstream and less proggy than the previous one I reviewed from the act. That said, there is still enough prog rock here to land it under that heading. I like this set a lot. It should appeal to fans of modern pop based prog, but there are things here that land more in the fusion vein, and a couple tunes really channel Pink Floyd.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
How Does It Feel?
Coming in slow moving and melodic, there is a great retro groove to this cut. There are hints of soulful sound here, but in some ways this makes me think of a combination of Porcupine Tree and early Pink Floyd. It's a classy, somewhat trippy cut. This is catchy and very cool.
The Love in Your Eyes
Even more accessible, there is a cool almost bluesy groove built into this thing. It's another classy tune.
Gone
I love the guitar work on the opening section of this. There is a bit of a fusion element at play here. This is another accessible number with some cool retro textures in place. It has some of that old-school soul sound merged with proggy things.
Autumn Blues
The bluesy guitar work at the start of this instrumental really makes me think of David Gilmour. In fact, there is a decidedly Pink Floyd like vibe to this cut. It's one of my favorite songs here. It just oozes cool as it merges that Floyd element with a bit more traditional blues sound and some fusion.
Night Train
I dig the cool retro textures on this number. It's one of the more progressive rock oriented things here. It does a great job of combining more modern prog like Porcupine Tree and Pineapple Thief with things like Pink Floyd. There is a decidedly folk oriented bend to the cut, particularly brought home by the short acoustic guitar interlude. Female vocals in the mix lend something cool to it, too. The electric guitar solo section later in the track really emphasizes that Pink Floyd reference.
Let Go
Mellow fusion styled sounds with cool proggy textures makes up the concept of this number. There is really a bit of a jazz groove to it. The guitar soloing on this one, with its melodic fusion styles, is particularly tasty.
It Doesn't Matter
Another with a killer fusion vibe to it, this has tastefully instrumental work. It's an accessible number that just has an easy going texture. It shifts around the three-minute mark to a more rocking jam that brings more pure progressive rock. That said, it's a powered up version of the main song structure more than it is a full twist.
9 to 5 (Barely Alive)
Piano starts this, and the cut gradually grows outward from there. As the vocals join, I'm really reminded of Pink Floyd a lot. This has some turns, but really continues with that Floyd kind of sound throughout. It's another highlight of the set. The instrumental movement later in the cut brings some fusion into it. It has some intriguing guitar soloing.
Let It Rain
I dig the bass that runs a sultry, jazzy vibe in the backdrop of this cut. For some reason it reminds me of Tony Levin a bit. The cut combines a fusion element with a pop music groove and some classy modern progressive rock. The guitar solo is so tasty.
Going Away
More of a straight-ahead rocker, this is fun. It's perhaps not the proggiest thing here, but it's a catchy cut that works pretty darned well.
 
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