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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

These Curious Thoughts

Xrays of the Imagination

Review by Gary Hill

You might notice that I have done quite a few These Curious Thoughts reviews for this issue. In fact, I think, with the ones already in the archives included, we might now have all their albums reviewed. Out of the bunch, this set from 2017 is definitely one of my favorites. It does a great job of representing their fresh and quirky version of modern progressive rock.

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:

Track by Track Review
Xrays of the Imagination
A cool guitar riff brings this in. Other elements join gradually, bringing with them prog and psychedelia. There is a bit of a space rock air to it in some ways. The number doesn't stay there for long, though. This goes through all kinds of crazed changes with a dynamic and decidedly artsy arrangement. If you don't like where this is, just wait. It will be somewhere else in no time. Some sections land closer to an alternative rock pop rock sound. Some are more full prog. It is sort of all over the place, but in a great way. This actually might be one of my favorite pieces from this band. It seems to have everything going for it.
When Our Heroes Die
This is another tune that seems to go all over the place, but not to the same degree as the opener did. It has some pure prog along with space rock and even some funk. It's another winner.
Spaceship Girl
I like the spacey kind of psychedelia meets pop rock sound on this thing. There are hints of an almost punky alternative rock sound in the mix, too. The tune has some killer shifts and turns, and is another particularly strong one.
I Sit in Silence
There is a moody, spacey kind of vibe to this number that is so cool. Yet, it also rocks out with a fast-paced prog jam that is so cool.
Madman and Genius
I love the mellower, but quite spacey arrangement on this tune. It's a classy cut that works really well.
Surrounded by Roses
This number earns a parental advisory. It's high-energy and quirky. Yet, it's also catchy. It's packed full of tasty shifts and changes. There is a rather trippy dropped back movement later in the piece that somehow seems to have hints of spaghetti western music to me. That is only one tiny piece of the puzzle, though, and doesn't stay around long. The cut works out to some killer driving hard rocking sound.
Spaghetti for My Yeti
There is a hard rocking, almost alternative rock edge to this. Yet, it also has some real art rock craziness. Round it out with some hints of space rock and jazz, and you'll be close to the full picture.
Willy Wonka of the Vinyl World
I love the pretty piano based balladic arrangement that starts this tune. The vocals come in over the top of that basic concept. This earns another parental advisory. The cut works out to an energized prog rocker further down the road. I love the vocal arrangement on this. The tune is another highlight of a disc with plenty of standout numbers. A cool keyboard bit ends the song and the album.
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