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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Sandy McKnight

with Fernando Perdomo - San Fernando Beat

Review by Gary Hill

I have two reviews of this duo in this issue of Music Street Journal. The other one, the newer of the two, is definitely the better release. At MSJ our rule is that we don't do negative reviews. If we like something less than dislike it, we simply don't cover it. This one squeaked in because there are more strong songs than tunes that don't work. There are a couple songs here, though, that really miss the mark, largely because of the vocal performance. Still, more than half of the tunes are effective enough to get this a positive review as a whole. The truth is, if those two songs were pulled, there wouldn't be an issue at all with getting a positive review for it. This EP has the same sort of retro rock texture as the newer one, but the Elvis Costello angle (that shows up a little on the other one) is a lot more frequent visitor on this set.

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
Facing the End of the World
This song has such a cheery vibe to it, presenting a contrast to the title. This is a fun number with cool retro textures.
Single Flowers
I'm very much reminded of Elvis Costello on this tune. It's a classy cut that works well.
Chloe's Gone
Another that has a lot of that Costello sound in the mix, this one has some rather awkward moments that make it less successful than some of the other music here. It has some charms, but is a bit of a clunker.
Heart in Your Hands
Imagine merging Elvis Costello with the Beatles. You are likely to have something like this. While the song is not perfect, it's definitely stronger than the one that preceded it.
Any Time of Day
I like the good-time 1960s vibe on this cut. It again has plenty of that Elvis Costello thing, too.
Fake
If there is a song to skip here, it's this one. The music isn't bad. It's not a big departure from the rest. The vocals are not anywhere near as effective, though. I think this EP would be a lot better if this tune had been left off. I do really like the guitar solo, though.
 
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