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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Idiot Grins

Thoughts & Prayers

Review by Gary Hill

I have reviewed a couple discs from Idiot Grins previously, but they didn't really prepare me for this one. The one thing that those other releases have in common with this is a reverence and adherence to old musical styles. This act has a knack for being able to replicate old sounds. That is taken to a new level and in new directions here. They have created a treack-by-track reinterpretation of an album from the 1950s that bore the title "Satan is Real." The original was by an outfit called the Louvin Brothers, and they produced country gospel. These guys have replicated that sound to the point where this really feels like it fits in that genre and era. It's not really my kind of thing, but I can appreciate the artistry that went into it.

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
Satan Is Real
Old-school gospel turned country is the order of business here. It drops back to spoken vocals over organ.
There's a Higher Power
Up-tempo country music, this still has some gospel in it, but it's also built around some bluegrass. The vocal arrangement features a lot of interesting angles afforded by multiple voices.
The Christian Life
A slow moving country grind is on display here.
The River of Jordan
This has a cool groove and vibe to it. It's still very much a gospel leaning country tune, but there is just a flavor or tone to it that really shines. I love the guitar picking on this thing, too.
The Kneeling Drunkard's Plea
Organ brings this into being. The cut works out to more of a pure old school gospel sound.
Are You Afraid to Die
The bouncy energy of this is fun. The guitar fills are classy, and the tune has a good groove. It's more of a gospel with rock and roll edges tune.
He Can Be Found
More of a pure "church music" type of number, this is slow moving and retro styled.
Dying from Home, And Lost
The down-home country sound is in the driver's seat here.
The Drunkard's Doom
This isn't a big change from the last tune.
Satan's Jeweled Crown
Old school country with gospel at its core, this is a good shuffling number.
The Angels Rejoiced Last Night
A shuffling number, the piano lends some class to this cut. The track is very country based.
I'm Ready to Go Home
A bouncy tune, this is one of the strongest pieces here.
 
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