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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Nathaniel Land

Black Blue Sky

Review by Gary Hill

Nathaniel Land’s brand of music is set in sort of a singer-songwriter traditional place. It has some definite alternative rock in the mix, too. Nothing here is Earth-shattering in terms of challenging boundaries or genre labels. What this is, though, is compelling pop rock music delivered with style and passion.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
On the Inside
I dig the driving acoustic guitar groove that starts this. The vocals enter, and the cut becomes a cool alternative rocker. This has some powered up energy and solid hooks. It has a real timeless vibe to it.
Turn Your Light On
This alternative rock is a classy one. It’s more electrified than the opener was. It seems a bit more rocking, too. It’s a piece of class.
Black Blue Sky
An acoustic based alternative rocker, this number has plenty of Americana built into it. This gets more energized and rocking. This has more dynamic range than the two previous pieces did. It’s also one of that standouts of the set, making it a great choice for title track.
Two Hearts
This balladic piece is pretty and evocative. It is slow moving and quite well written and performed. It has some hints of country in some of the layers of sound in the mix. This provides some definite variety to the set.
Denied
I dig the electric guitar sound on this thing. There is a bit more of a hard rock edge to this thing. As it powers up, that’s even more apparent. This has some definite elements of 1970s hard-edged blues-based rock. The echoey guitar solo brings some old-school psychedelic texture.
Love Sings
The closer is another mellow tune. It has a lot of folk music at its core. It’s a good song, but I think that “Denied” would have been better in the closing slot. I think I would have put this in the second position on the disc. Still, it works reasonably well here.
 
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