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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Various Artists

#MeTooMPLS

Review by Gary Hill

This album is a charity release to show support for sexual assault survivors and raise money for Planned Parenthood. The music here has a fairly wide range, but quality wise, it's a lot more focused, making it a classy release. There are no weak tracks, but there are some that are particularly strong.  

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
Ashleigh Still - Not F***in' Around
Vocals and acoustic guitar make up the concept at the start of this. It has a folk music vibe. It gets more involved as other instruments join. There are some country music leanings on this number. As you might guess from the title (and edit of it on the internet version of it) this earns a definite parental advisory.
Lydia Liza - Apple in My Pocket
I dig the airy sort of texture created by the flute on this tune. The number has a classy groove to it. I'm reminded a bit of things like Rickie Lee Jones. The arrangement gets lush and powerful.
Mary Bue - How to Forgive Your Rapist
The rocking acoustic guitar on this makes me think of something like a folk version of Nirvana. The lyrics again earn a parental advisory on this one. It's an angry tune that manages to turn that anger into a thing of beauty.
Sarah Morris - Like It's Gospel
Built around Americana, this has a lot of country and blues in the mix. I dig the echoey electric guitar. The vocals are among the best of the set, too. I really like this number a lot.
Annie Mack - Judge and Jury
I dig the old school sound of the vocals on this cut. The track has a lot of blues built into it, but delivered with retro roots sounds.
Linnea Mohn - A Part
There is more of a dreamy, alternative pop based sound to this. This is powerful and soaring. It's one of my favorites on the album.
Mayda - Oxygen Tank
This is a hard rocking, alternative based tune. I dig the keyboards on it, but the whole song works well.
Tina Schlieske - What Would You Pay (Dear Harvey)
I dig the driving, building arrangement on this. The cut has a folk meets alternative rock vibe. It is another that earns a parental advisory.
Chastity Brown - Afraid of the Night
This is a powerhouse rocker that is among the best songs here. This is edgy, catchy and very classy.
Ang Oase (ft. Christin Light) - Breakup Song
I love the synthesizer sounds on this cut. The track is another that fits under the alternative rock heading. It's also another standout.
Annie Fitzgerald - I Know That Sound
While a bit mellower, this is still in keeping with that alternative rock kind of vibe. This is a pretty song. It gets more rocking later along the road, too, with some real Americana added to the mix.
Elska - On the Shoulders of Giants
There is a soaring alternative beauty to this number. It is one of the strongest and most effective cuts here.
r0 (Static Panic) - Sides to Lonely
This cut is more of a modern R&B number. It has both female and male vocals. Some of the vocals are just a little too processed for my tastes, but most are great. There is a cool groove this cut. It brings some variety to the table and has some cool things going on. Still, it's not really my thing.
Katy Vernon - Shine
More of a powerhouse rocker, the horns bring a lot of magic to the arrangement. This is one of the highlights of the set. It's another highlight.
Kara Laudon - I Do
A mellower, more balladic piece, this is poignant and pretty.
Averil Bach - Radiation Blues
Another mellower tune, this has a dreamy kind of Americana behind it. I love the more rocking, powered up zones later. It's still slow, but has more of an intense air and sound to it.
JØUR - Won't Stop Me Now
Another highlight, there is a trippy element to this. It has a great balance between mellower and more rocking zones. Some of the guitar work gets pretty crazed and noisy, making me think of Adrian Belew just a bit. Yet, there is a dreamy quality to the track at the same time. It really is a great choice for closer.
 
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