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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Matthew Austin Hunt

Matthew Austin Hunt

Review by Gary Hill

There is a definite country vibe here, but I wouldn't consider this to be country music. It's probably closer to folk rock, but even that doesn't really capture everything about this. To me there are some vaguely awkward edges to some of this, but not enough to really detract. It's still quite effective.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 4. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

Track by Track Review
American Made
Folk guitar brings this into being. Electric guitar and other elements join to fill in the arrangement. The vocals bring more of a country edge to it. I dig the guitar fills on this tune. It's energetic and effective. The solo is pretty tasty, too.
Open Book
Combining those same folk and country elements, this is probably more folk rocker than anything else. As strong as the opener was, this feels more mature and is more successful.
Bye London Bye

A more pure folk tune, I really love some of the moods and tones conveyed by the instrumental arrangement. Again, the guitar fills are so great. This is essentially a powered up ballad.

Drip By Drip
A bit harder rocking, the guitar really sells this number. It has a good balance between more powered up and mellower territory.
Close To Me
A country ballad at its core, this has more modern, almost rock, elements at play to some degree.
We Can Dream
This tune is more powered up, and it really merges the country and folk sounds. It also brings in some rocking stuff.
The Day I Met You
I dig the melodic electric guitar soloing on this thing. The tune isn't a big change, but is an effective tune. I'm reminded just a bit of the Allman Brothers at times here. This has mellower, folkier sections and more powered up ones.
Let Me Breathe
The format isn't changed greatly here, but this is an effective tune.
Shade of Gray
I like the balladic approach on this number. It's one of the highlights of the set, really.
My Dear Friend
The mellowest number on the disc, I'm not sure this is the best choice for album closer That said, it's one of the strongest tunes here. This ballad is actually very strong. I just wonder if it might have worked better to switch this one with the previous number in the sequence of the disc.
 
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