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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Vanessa Peters

Foxhole Prayers

Review by Gary Hill

This is quite an effective set. The music is probably best described in one phrase as "folk rock," but that is only so accurate. Sure, it can apply to anything here, but there is a real range to the music. Overall this probably fits closest with a lot of the dreamy kind of sounds that were coming out in the 90s, but a lot of the lyrics are more topical than that. All in all, though, if you like things like Mazzy Star or The Indigo Girls, you'll find plenty to enjoy here.

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Track by Track Review
Get Started
A retro keyboard sound starts things here. The guitar brings a bit of a folky kind of texture to the piece. This makes me think of acts ranging from Indigo Girls to Belly and Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians. The hooks on the number are solid, and the track is just particularly effective.
Before It Falls Apart
There is some processing on this that doesn't work that well for me, but fortunately the bulk of the vocals are cleaner. There is a definite electronic element to this, and it lands more into a dreamy kind of modern pop sound. It does have a bit of a trippy vibe to it.
More purely pop rock based, this has some real meat on its bones. It is a defiant and empowering piece. Yet there is still a definite gentle angle to it. The vocals have a bit of that dreamy texture to them.
There is a lot of energy and rocking oomph to this cut. It lands closer in the zone of alternative rock. It's a powerful tune that really works well. Overall, I suppose it fits under "pop rock." I love the electric guitar that sort of soars over the top.
This Riddle
This seems to take a lot of the energy of the previous cut and merge it with something that calls to mind the album's opener a bit. It's a compelling and effective track that has a great vocal line to it. There are some definite peaks and valleys built into this piece.
Foxhole Prayers
A trippy kind of nearly prog introduction creates some drama. The cut drops to a mellow, folk based arrangement from there. This is slow moving and has some spacey elements. Some louder sounds come over the top after a while as augmentation. It all builds outward to a powerful, quite proggy, sort of movement further down the road. The tune is one of the more dynamic here. It's also stunning. In fact, this might be my favorite track of the set. Then again, it is the title track, so I can assume I'm not the only one who feels that way.
Just One of Them
Energized folk music is at the heart of this. The overlayers built onto that framework brings something more magical to it. This is a poignant track that has a real timeless quality to it. It is also another standout.
Carnival Barker
A percussion section starts this. The cut works upward from there with an intriguing pop rock arrangement. There is still a lot of folk rock in the mix.
This is a rocking cut that has a lot of that folk edge to it. While this isn't as strong as some of the rest here, it's catchy and has a bit of an alternative rock meat to it.
This Riddle
Much more of a folk rock tune, this has a bit of a shoegaze element along with things like Mazzy Star built into it. It's a mellower cut, but the layers of sound over the top bring some real magic, too. I love the psychedelic guitar element that appears, too.
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