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Non-Prog CD Reviews


F*ck You

Review by Gary Hill

This is an album that's a bit hard to pin down. The musical references seem to come from all over the place. There is a certain awkward edge to much of this. While that may sound like a negative, it's actually a positive and one of the charms of the release. While nothing here is particularly weak, there are some points that shine brighter than others do.  Please note that the titles here are listed as they are shown on the official listing (minus the MSJ online edit for the title track), and the album title is as shown on the cover.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at:

Track by Track Review
Im Gonna Wake Up One Day
Modern pop music merges with country, some psychedelia and more on this piece. It's a bit tastefully strange, but also cool. I like the rocking chorus quite a bit. The cut features Tom Kimmel.
See Me Now
Acoustic guitar and drums make up the background here. This has more of a folk music vibe at play. When the arrangement fills out further down the road the cut starts rocking. There is a real progressive rock element at play. The male vocals running counterpoint bring something special with them. While I'm not blown away by the opening movement here, this more powered up section really soars and wins me over nicely.
Disparage Me for Nothing
I like this one quite a bit. There is a world music rhythmic element to it. There are some hints of bluegrass music in some of the instrumental work. This has a great energy and some cool melodies. It's mostly acoustic based, organic and fun.  It turns sort of "Russian" later, and male vocals add to that element.
One Step Behind - Radio Edit
We're back into folk music concepts here. This is more of an intimate number. It seems more lighthearted and gentle in the opening section. It does have some electric guitar in the mix, at first as fills and later really driving it. While this has its charms, it's not a highlight.
F*ck You
The guitar rocks out at the start of this. The track has a bit of a punky edge, but what would you expect with that title? I guess I shouldn't have to say this, but it earns a parental advisory. This rocker is actually a highlight of the set, perhaps because of, rather than in spite of the slightly awkward nature of it.
Torn Between Two Suns
Here is another that has some hints of progressive rock. The cut is more of a folk rocker overall. It has some bits of country music, too. It's energetic and one of the highlights.
Grab the Moon
Built around a piano and vocal arrangement there are both classical and jazz elements at play here. While this isn't a favorite of the set, it brings some real variety.
Surf Through Life
This rocker is a solid one, but it's not a standout. It does have some proggy moments, particularly via the electric guitar, though.
Lonely Secret
I know there are people who love the band The Shaggs. Kurt Cobain was a big fan. I appreciate them in a certain odd way. I mention them because if they had gotten some music lessons and improved their art, I think they would have sounded a lot like this song. This has all the quirkiness that worked as a charm for that band, but has most of the rough edges polished.
Give Me a Day
The keyboards on the opening lend something special. The cut works out to another folk rock styled arrangement. The male backing vocals bring some hints of country music.
Folk rock is again the concept here, but this more electric than some of the others are. It's another that lands sort of as an "also ran."
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