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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Molly Jenson

Goodbye

Review by Gary Hill

There are some moments of sheer brilliance on this release. I have to say that I think this might be a case where less could be more. There are times where the formula seems to wear a bit thin, and the music becomes samey. I think that dropping two or three songs would make a stronger full release. Then again, these days so many people just listen to a song or two at a time, so perhaps it's kind of a moot point. In any event, the music here is largely dreamy and artsy with some range within that classification.

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
Goodbye
Dreamy, soaring Americana is on display here. This cut has some cool echoey textures. It's all class and a great opener. That said, there is something ironic about putting a song titled "Goodbye" in the opening slot.
You Did Your Best
This number is not as effective. It feels a little over-processed. It has some cool arsty angles, though. It definitely improves as it gets more rocking further down the road.
You Think You Were The Only One
While this tune is also over-processed, it works well for it. This is an energetic stomper that has a lot of 80s electronic pop in the mix. Yet it also gets into harder rocking zones as it continues. This is actually one of the strongest cuts here. It even has some hints of AOR prog.
Held On Too Long
A more dreamy pop styled number, this is classy stuff. There are lush electronic textures washing over the top of this.
How Dare You
Rich electronic pop drives this number. It's not bad, but definitely not a standout either. There is certain samey quality that is starting to materialize by this point.
I Want To Hate You
I like the piano textures on this track. The tune is more balladic. It's also more effective because it feels less artificial. The vocals seem more genuine. In fact, the evocative vocals on this slow moving piece are among the best of the disc. The sedate instrumental movement is packed with emotion.
Unbroken
The electronic pop concepts on this are solid, but this is another that seems a bit too samey. It's moody and solid, though.
It’s Not Complicated
More energetic and driving, this still manages to be moody in terms of the vocal delivery. While this suffers less from the monolithic nature, by this point it's a matter of degrees. Some of the lusher layers later bring some real variety to it, though.
Help Me Love
This number does a much better job of avoiding the formulaic texture. Part of that comes from the Americana added to the mix. Part comes from the electronic symphonic stylings in the mix.
I Will Be Okay
A more stripped back arrangement, the melodies on this allow it stand tall above much of the music here. There are some minor hints of that Americana element. This is definitely one of the highlights. It's packed with emotion.
 
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