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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Lovetones


Review by Gary Hill

I've landed this under progressive rock. Perhaps that's not the right choice, but honestly, I think there are definitely prog elements in pretty much everything on the disc. At least a couple tunes are more firmly set in prog, too. Still, if you like 1970s rock, you are sure to feel at home here whether you agree with my categorization or not. It should be noted that there are twelve tracks listed on the CD sleeve, but it only tracks as ten. That's because the two instrumental pieces ("Caylus 74" and "Caylus (Reprise)") don't actually have their own tracks. Instead they are tacked at the end of the songs that precede them. I've included them individually in the track review, since that's how it's listed on the CD, but explained where they actual track in those reviews.

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Track by Track Review
The Circle Turns
Organ starts the album is a rather bizarre way. After a time other instruments join creating a mellow backdrop for the entrance of the vocals. This becomes a slow moving balladic piece. It resembles a cross between psychedelia, classic prog and modern prog of acts like Porcupine Tree and The Pineapple Thief. This grows into more of a soaring tune as it continues to evolve. In fact, it gets quite powerful before it's done.
About the Girl
A bit of a stripped back arrangement brings this into being. It jumps out from there to sort of a psychedelic arrangement that has a lot of Beatles sound built into it. Perhaps this isn't the proggiest thing here, but it still has some prog elements at play. Whatever you call it, though, the 70s leanings and great hooks make this a winner.
The Milkman of Human Kindness
Now, this one doesn't have any prog to it, really. It's more of a rocker that feels very much like John Lennon's music, right down to the vocals. It's classy stuff.
Caylus 74
This isn't tracked as its own number, but rather comes in as a part of "The Milkman of Human Kindness." The prog elements return in style on this piece The cool keyboard-based texture definitely makes me think of King Crimson. It has a lush symphonic sound to it.
Everything You've Ever Had
John Lennon is a valid reference on this number, too. It has a rock and roll sound like he would have done. The keyboards over the top do lend some prog to the number. They are great icing on the cake of the song.  Later those elements really drive the progressive rock textures home.
Now, this one has some hints of 80s pop rock to it. Add some Byrds and other psychedelia to the mix, and you'll be on the right track.
Modern Life Is Killing Me
With the John Lennon rocking sounds in the driver's seat again, this has a lot of prog in the layers of sound that augment the mix. I believe those elements include violin and keyboards. There is a fuzz-driven guitar solo section later that is a real powerhouse. Yet, that includes some of the proggiest overtones of the whole cut.
Caylus (Reprise)
We get a reprise of the previous keyboard oriented bit. You can probably gather that from the title and parenthetical on this, though. This, like that one, is not tracked as a separate tune, but rather attached to "Modern Life is Killing Me."
Walk Away
Another solid rocker with lots of John Lennon in the mix, this is a classy tune. While the overlayers bring some prog to it, this is less proggy than just anything here. It's still a solid number, though.
I'll Never Be That Guy
I like the classy keyboard section that opens this. There is a bit of a Bob Dylan vibe to this, but delivered with an arrangement that closer to things like modern Marillion and Porcupine Tree. The keyboard textures and sounds are really magical. This is a highlight of the set, and a great choice for closer for that reason.
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