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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Gabriel Douglas

Darker Still

Review by Gary Hill

This new set is somewhat moody and dark, but I suppose you'd expect that given the title. It's mostly set in an acoustic guitar and vocal arrangement, but there are some exceptions to that model. There is a lot of folk music here along with an alternative edge and some definite country music angles. This is intriguing, but probably not for everyone. It is most likely to appeal to fans of roots music.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 1. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
Hearts Want
Acoustic guitar brings this number (and the set) into being. It's slow moving and folk styled. The vocals come in with a real country folk style. The cut has an intimate feeling to it. It's sparse with just the guitar and voice creating all the musical textures. It's very slow moving.
Get Up, Fed Up, Yup? Yep.
With the same basic layout in terms of acoustic guitar and voice, this has a bit more energy built into it. It's more of a folk rocker. The vocals still have a bit of that twang to them. I like this one better than the opener.
Holding Patterns
Slow moving and rather dramatic, this has plenty of roots folk music in the mix. The tune is a bit too repetitive, but it has some interesting melodies, and there is what sounds like a flute (but is probably keyboards) that comes up later along the road. I suppose a song called "Holding Patterns" should be a bit repetitive, though, right?
Dark

In a big change, keyboards bring this number into being. Those keyboards serve as the only backdrop for the moody, slow moving vocals.

How To Make A Home (Somebody To Call)
We're back in acoustic guitar and vocal zones with this energetic folk rocker. It has plenty of roots music built into it.
Morning's Coming
Not a big change, this is perhaps a bit more energized and dramatic.
I Want More
This is a very slow tune. It has a sparse guitar arrangement. The vocals are mournful. It has a lot of emotion and seems to end abruptly.
Making Changes

I like the hooks and energy of this number. It's one of the stronger pieces here, but there's not a huge difference to the arrangement. I'm not a big fan of the lyrics of this tune.

Ain’t Gonna Fight You (You Are Enough)
Another tune that has a bit more energy, this is an evocative one, too. The vocal delivery is one of the most impassioned.
Darker Still
The keyboards are back here, with a melody that seems similar to "Dark." The vocals are louder here. The song is much longer at almost ten-and-a-half-minutes long and a bit more intense, but largely similar to that other tune. I'd say that perhaps this could have been cut a bit shorter, although the variant sung movement later is a nice change-up and addition.
Bonus Track
    
Dark (instrumental)
As you might guess, this number is the earlier track with the vocals removed.
 
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