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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


Under Cover

Review by Gary Hill

It seems that albums of covers were really popular a few years ago. I'm not sure they are quite as "in style" now as they were then, but then again, I think the artist known as Esbe probably cares a lot more about artistic expression than she does being "in style." I have always said that if you are going to do a cover, you need to make it your own and not just play it like the original artist. From that mindset, this is a smashing success. I've included this under progressive rock more because it's art-music than because it's pure prog, but that angle is here, too. While I don't think everything here is a total success, it is all very artistic and interesting and some songs really stand out as exceptional.

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Track by Track Review
The keyboard sound that starts this is proggy. The layers of sound over the top really bring the prog home. The vocals are slow moving and classically tinged. This is art-rock based and intriguing. I suppose it goes without saying, but this is a cover of the Beatles song. It's definitely a different flavor.
A Taste Of Honey
Here Esbe turns her attention to the music of Herb Albert. There is a real Renaissance vibe to this. Of course, the art elements are still at play. This is slow moving, classically tinged and tastefully strange.
Don't Explain
Here get a rendition of a song by Billie Holiday. This is haunting, artistic and so tasty. I think this might be my favorite song of the whole set.
Night And Day
This artsy and slow moving rendition of a Cole Porter composition is quite intriguing. There is a tasteful weirdness that brings a real beauty to it.
The Sound Of Silence
The original of this classic Simon and Garfunkel song has always been one of my favorites. This artsy, trippy kind of rendition really lends a new and unusual flavor to it. It's an intriguing twist.
Eleanor Rigby
Back into Beatles territory, I think this is one of the most effective pieces here. The artsy vibes really suit this tune. This captures the tone and vibe of the song, while also turning it into something different. This is sublime.
Bridge Over Troubled Water
Another repeat visitor, the Simon and Garfunkel is the source of this number. The electronic symphonic treatment works well here. This isn't really one of my favorite tunes in general, though.
Amazing Grace
I have to admit that I despise this song in just about any form. I can't stand the music or the lyrics. I've only ever heard one version that worked form. This doesn't raise that total. It's the exact kind of symphonic artsy vibe one would expect. The vocals have more vibrato than I'm comfortable with. All in all, I'd skip this one, but I have a definite bias against it before ever hearing it at all. Your mileage may vary.
This song was originally performed by Ella Fitzgerald. This arrangement is symphonic and intriguing. There is a sense of drama and mystery to this. There is something very sublime and powerful about this.
Silent Night
This electronic rendition of the classic holiday song works well. I dig the cool electro vibe.
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