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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

David Sancious

Eyes Wide Open

Review by Gary Hill

The cover of this disc describes it as a "movie for your ears." Musically this is essentially fusion. Since we put fusion under prog most of the time, that's why it's here. The first half of the disc has vocal numbers, while the second is made up of instrumentals. I almost wonder if it would have flowed better had the track list alternated them a bit more. At least it would have seemed more cohesive. As it is, it feels like two different EPs. Still, everything here is effective, so it's only really an issue if you play the disc from start to finish. I think a lot of people tend to just go one or two songs at a time these days. I would say that I prefer the instrumental half of the album. That's not because there is any issue with the vocal tunes. I just like the instrumental ones more.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

Track by Track Review
Eyes Wide Open
The sounds of a crowd are heard at the start of this. The cut works out from there to some killer funky fusion. There is definitely an electronic edge to this. The vocal hooks are classy, and the cut features some great jamming.
In the Middle of the Night
There is a mellower vibe to this. It has a dreamy kind of texture. I love the piano work on this thing. The whole mood is classy.
Urban Psalm #3
A funky, soulful groove drives this classy piece. There is plenty of magic packed into this thing.
If
The funk and powerhouse fusion elements driving this are so good. This is one of the highlights of the set. I love the driving drumming on this and the guitar fills.
Flip It
The guitar work on this instrumental is on fire. The whole tune drives and grooves with a smoking hot fusion style. This is without question my favorite piece here. I dig the dropped back movement a lot, too. Every bit of this piece screams "class."
The Treehouse
The sounds of birds and nature are on display as this begins. Piano eventually rises up as the music part begins. It coalesces slowly from there remaining ambient until around a minute-and-twenty-seconds in when a new piano melody takes command. The other instruments join as the nature sounds drop away. This is a slower moving, mellower instrumental tune.
December
There is a lot of Latin guitar built into this piece. Sure, this is fusion, but there are definitely more real links to progressive rock on this number. It's a classy instrumental that works so well. Some world music elements show up on this tune, too.
War in Heaven
With such a classy tone and mood, this instrumental showcases a great combination of fusion and progressive rock. It's another smoking hot tune, and another highlight of the set. In fact, this powerhouse might be my favorite track of the whole set.
 
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