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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Ruthless Cosmopolitans

Ruthless

Review by Gary Hill

This is a short set that isn't precisely a tight fit under progressive rock. It's clearly art rock, though. It's a safe bet that people of a certain political persuasion will not like this set. Most of the lyrics are topical with a specific leaning. There are parental advisories on some of those lyrics, too. All in all, this is an intriguing and oddly effective set of songs. It's definitely not for everyone, but for those who get it, this is some special stuff.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 6. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

Track by Track Review
Make America Hate Again

Female vocals, acapella, bring this set into being as they sing the title a couple times. The track fires out from there to a classy funky, jazzy jam. The male vocals have a rap approach, calling to mind a proggy Red Hot Chili Peppers. The female vocals have almost a B-52s approach. The lyrics, as you might guess, are topical. I love the cool guitar solo on this thing. It shifts to a slower, mellower proggy concept for the middle section. It eventually intensifies and powers back into the song proper.

The Screen Age
Imagine mixing the Red Hot Chili Peppers with Frank Zappa. You might have something close to this. It's dark and almost metallic at times. This earns a parental advisory. This gets intense and nearly metallic before it's over.
Book of Ruthless
There is a serious reggae vibe to this piece. For some reason it makes me think of The Residents just a bit. This gets heavy at times. It has a great groove throughout. The mellower dropped back section has a cool retro feeling to it.
Gawd Hates FLaGS
This is heavy and rather metallic, but in a creative and artsy way. It is a screaming hot cut.
Faux King Crazy
This earns a big parental advisory. Don't let the misspelling of the title fool you. They say the real thing all over this cut. The tune is also not going to be something supporters of Trump will like. The song has a driving rapping vibe with blasts of RIO like jamming as counterpoints. It works out to a soulful, Frank Zappa-like arrangement at the end as soulful female vocals belt out the title. 
Nothing In A Good Way
This is a rather bizarre and yet very tasty piece of space music. It's also brief and instrumental.
 
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