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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Bonne Finken

Gauntlet

Review by Gary Hill

This is the newest set from Bonne Finken. I reviewed her last one. I'd consider this one to be more consistent and much stronger. Given how much I liked that disc, the statement really says a lot. This is closely tied to things like Lady Gaga, but it's a lot harder rocking and avoids being over-produced. This seems like a great compromise between that Gaga type sound and a more rock based one. I would think that would give this a more universal appeal.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Down Down
Coming in with an electronic element, this works out to some killer rocking stuff. There is an almost techno edge here, but also even hints of metal in some ways. Yet, overall this is more in line with electronic modern pop. There is a dance music quality to it. This is a powerhouse however you label it. Fortunately, it doesn't fall down the over-processed vocal hole that's so popular these days. This is just a great piece of music. It has some cool sounds, great hooks and a lot of meat on the musical bones.
Someday

I love the vocal bits that sort of soar over the top of the arrangement here. This cut has all kinds of layers of vocals coming from different directions at times. The musical element here has more of a rock texture than the one on the opener did. This is a powerful and quite meaty tune that works really well. As good as the first track was, I'd say that this is stronger.

U Never Knew
This has a lot of electronic pop built into the mix here. The cut is a powerhouse rocking tune, though. It really manages to soar. It's perhaps a little lighter in tone, and less potent, than the two openers. The thing is, those two are so strong that it's more about the competition than any weakness here.
One Our Way
There is a real driving, rocking edge to this thing that really works well. It is another particularly successful cut on a disc that has no shortage of strong material.
Holy Water
Driving and energetic, this is more modern pop based. It's not far removed from something Lady Gaga might do. However, this isn't over-produced like a lot of Gaga's music is. This has some great hooks, and works well, but it's not my favorite here.
Warning Signs
This has an edgy sort of thing at its core. It has some links to nu-metal. It's a killer modern rocker with an electronic texture. The shouted gang chorus works well, but then again, the whole song rocks.
Silver Skin
The modern pop and rock elements merge well here. This is another tune that calls to mind Lady Gaga more than the rest do. This has a great vocal arrangement, strong energy level and a lot of charm.
My Bullet
Another strong rocker, this isn't a big change, but it's very effective.
Hate You Now
This might not have the energy of some of the rest, but it makes up for it with emotional strength. The arrangement here even leans toward progressive rock in some ways. This is so evocative and so powerful. It's a great closer. While it's a fairly large change from the rest of the stuff here, it also is unmistakably tied to all the others.
 
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