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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Jeff Engholm

Little Big Things

Review by Gary Hill

This is an intriguing disc that never fails to entertain. It has some great songwriting with solid hooks. It's largely rooted in classic sounds, but manages to bring a fresh touch to older things. There is a wide range of sound, but everything here showcases quality and a sense of entertainment. This is a great album from start to finish.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 4. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
I Can’t Look at You
A classy singer-songwriter concept is at the heart of this mainstream tune. It's a catchy and effective number that makes for a good opening salvo.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
A bit cheery and pop oriented, this is a fun little number. I can make out hints of The Beatles on this, but there is also plenty of Tom Petty here.
Someday Soon
I love the intricate guitar on this tune. The number is more of a folk song. It's gentle, but also particularly effective. I'd consider this one of the highlights of the disc. At times it makes me think of the band America more than just a little.
Believe in Yourself
This rocker is so much fun. It really feels a lot like early Beatles. The upper register harmony vocals are a great touch. That said, the whole number is packed with class and style. It's a lot of fun.
When It Began
There are some hints of jazz in the arrangement here. The tune has a bouncing kind of groove that has some Beatles and Beach Boys in the mix. It's another winner.
Bluefin Bay
There is a dreamy, gentle kind of groove to this. I can make out more of that Beach Boys thing here. There are some hints of prog, too. This is another that's both gentle and effective.
Feel the Sting
More of a rocker, this has some of the most modern sound of the set. It has a bit of an alternative pop texture to it. It's another that works well, and it brings some different flavor to the set.
Flipped
I love the classy guitar soloing on this rocker. This is another that has some hints of prog rock. It's very much a 1970s styled tune. It has a lot of soaring moments and is one of the most dynamic pieces here. It's also one of my favorites.
Gathering for Winter
Here we get another folk styled tune. This is mellower and classy.
Startup Man
This is another rocking tune. It seems even more energized coming after the previous sedate song. This has some Beatles elements, but also plenty of those alternative pop rock concepts. It's another of the more modern sounding pieces.
Wake Up With You
Another energetic rocker, this has some great hooks. I am also enamored with the general tone and texture of the piece. It's a good time song.
Little Big Things
The title track closes the set. It's a melodic number that has some great pop rock hooks and textures. It really makes an excellent parting piece.
 
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