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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Colin Roy Monette


Review by Gary Hill

There is a lot of good music here. None of this lands in the category of weak, either. That said, this might be a case where less would be more. A little rearranging of song order would probably serve the set well, too. I really love the songwriting and performances here. The roots music concepts are effective. The main issue I have is that the first half seems to house the mellower stuff, while the second half is more rocking. I think putting some of the songs from the second part of the album into some advantageous slots earlier would make for a stronger whole. Also, they don't have as much variety as some of the rest of the album, so perhaps trimming two or three of them off and holding them for a later release would have been a good move. All that said, many people only listen to a song or two from an artist at once these days, so it's only so important. Besides that, this is quite strong as it is. I just think a little fine tuning could have made it even more potent.

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Track by Track Review
Go To California
This folk tune makes me think of Arlo Guthrie a little. The multi-layered vocal arrangement is nice, and the harmonica lends some real charm.
Honest Man’s Misery
There is a real old-time blues concept to this. Yet, it also has some glam rock and plenty of folk music in it. I'm reminded of T-Rex - or more specifically Tyrannosaurus Rex, which was more folky. It's a classy and entertaining piece.
Foolish Man
More of a roots rock vibe is on the menu here. There are definitely leanings toward country music in the mix. This is classy stuff, but perhaps not at the same level as the first two pieces.
Summer Love
The guitar on this has an acoustic slide guitar approach. There is a folk music element to the piece, too, though. This has plenty of roots music in the mix either way.
Faces in the Clouds
The intricate guitar work on this is classy. There is a bit of a dreamy, soaring vibe to this folk tune.
Aurora Borealis Blues
A Robert Johnson like old school blues tune is on the menu here.
Caffeine City
More of a rocker, this is built around folk music. I love the soaring kind of vibe to it. This is catchy and one of the most instantly accessible tunes here.
Feel Free
Another with a rock vibe, I'm again reminded of T-Rex on this tune. I really dig the instrumental section on this thing.
You Remind Me
There is some blues built into the slide guitar solo on this. Beyond that the T-Rex reference is valid here, too. Perhaps there is a little Arlo Guthrie added to the mix, too.
Hills of Sage
Even more rock based than some of the other songs, I don't think this one is as effective as some of the rest.
What is Cool?
This is a bouncy jazzy sort of instrumental piece. It's short and fun.
Possibly the catchiest and most rock based tune here, I love this thing. It has a soaring kind of quality to it. It might be my favorite tune on the album.
The closer is a playful kind of folk tune that's really a nice touch.
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