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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Brianna Kocka

Let it Stay

Review by Gary Hill

This set has sort of a split personality. Some of it comes in closer to an art music, almost prog genre heading. Other songs, though, are more like pure folk rock. For me the more artsy stuff is the stronger and more interesting, but everything here is great. Had the prog angle been a bit more pronounced I would have landed this under progressive rock. I have to say that if all the songs leaned as far into the artsy side, this might have been a contender for my best of 2021 list. As it is, though, it's a very strong release, but not quite that strong. 


This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
All the Questions I Have Right Now
There is an old world sound to this. As the gentle vocals join I'm reminded of Fiona Apple. This has a real jazz-ballad kind of groove to it. The whole thing turns out to a proggy kind of jazz jam late that gives way to another instrumental journey to close the tune. There is a real artsy sort of experimental air to the piece in a lot of ways.
Seasons
Acoustic guitar brings this tune into being. More jazzy textures come in over the top as it grows. I'm reminded in some ways of Sade on this number in terms of the vocals. The number has an artsy sort of soaring texture.
Make Me a Quiet Place to Lay
A gentle and pretty number, this has a good retro folk rock sound to it. The number has a good energy and groove, and is quite classy.
A Song About Stories and Sleep
Here is another that lands more along the lines of folk rock music. It's a mid-tempo piece, but leaning toward the slow end of that spectrum. It's quite effective, too.
Sunset Vignette
There is a real dreamy quality to this number. It has an almost psychedelic prog vibe to it in a lot of ways.
 
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