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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Fernando Perdomo

Zebra Crossing

Review by Gary Hill

I previously reviewed another set from Fernando Perdomo. This one is a lot different than that one. In fact, based only on this album, it wouldn't be included under progressive rock. I'm landing it there to a large degree because I'd consider Perdomo to be a prog artist, but this isn't necessarily a prog album. The last set from him that I covered was instrumental. This one is not. This has a real 1970s retro rock style. It does have some proggy moments and elements, but overall this would fit really well into the mainstream rock scene of the early 1970s. It's a very effective set in that regard, too.

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Track by Track Review
I'm Here
A decidedly symphonic flourish begins this track and the album. It gives way to a melodic guitar sound that serves as the concept of the song. The vocals come in over the top of that arrangement. After the first vocal section this powers up to a more rocking version of the main themes. This is pretty and a bit psychedelic in delivery at times. Beatles and Klaatu references are not out of the question on the later sections of this track.
Sometimes I Feel Like Nothing At All
A rather bouncy cut, those same Klaatu elements are well-represented here. This is pop rock number, but it has enough progressive rock in the mix to keep it from being fully mainstream.
Find Love (Hold On)
Much more of a mainstream rocker, this has a definite glam rock vibe to it. It's a catchy and energized cut that's a lot of fun. I love the instrumental break on this thing. The tune has some great piano fills and cool guitar sounds. This feels like a slice of the 1970s.
We Were Raised With Headphones On
This is another retro sounding number. Some of the guitar work brings a bit of a jazz vibe. The lyrics really reinforce the sense of nostalgia.
Mellow space rock merges with a psychedelic edge on this number. The tune is accessible and quite cool. It also has some nice nostalgic meat built into it. There are definite Beatles-like things at play here.
Not Meant To Be
I love the tasty guitar work on the opening section of this track. The number has a killer retro groove and vibe. This instrumental has some definite prog leaning, but also makes me think of both Eric Clapton and The Beatles.
Piano brings this cut into being. The vocals come in over the top of that arrangement. This is a pretty constant sort of number that lands along the lines of pop rock.
I can hear hints of things like RPWL on this number. It has a retro rock sound with a lot of 1970s built into it, too. This is another catchy cut that works well. There is a spoken section that really lends something interesting to this. It's a monologue about the significance on one day out of the week for the songwriter.
This cut isn't a huge change, but the mellower, balladic modes have some great symphonic elements at their heart. This is a pretty and quite powerful piece of music.
Crown of Stars
I like the rather symphonic prog based introduction in this number a lot. The tune works out to more of a mainstream pop rock based thing from there.
Zebra Crossing
A harder rocking element brings this into being. The cut builds out from there with a fun and rather catchy 1970s rock sound. As it approaches the minute-and-a-half mark it drops down to a mellower movement that is part psychedelia and part prog. They power things back upward from there, bringing this into decidedly progressive rock (and hard-edged at that) territory. The guitar soloing conveys a lot of emotion and power on this soaring number. Around the half-way mark we're treated to a little excursion into psychedelic territory that calls to mind both The Beatles and Klaatu. This instrumental covers a lot of moods and territories and is one of the highlights of the disc.
While My Guitar Gently Weeps feat. Diane Birch, Shawn Lee, Jason Rowe and Daphna Rowe
I've always been a big fan of this song. This rendition is so cool. It has a rather faithful basis while bringing some new things to the table. I love all the different singers on the cut. It's a cool way to end the set.
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