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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Gen Lacroix

Sweetest Wine

Review by Gary Hill

There is a certain type of female vocal paired with piano sound that has become almost a cliché in recent years. The field of such performers is definitely crowded. I can't imagine trying to stand out among a crowd of people doing things that are so similar, right down to the type of vocals. Well, Gen Lacroix manages to stand pretty tall among that field. The formula does wear a little thin at times, but overall this album works pretty well from start to finish. The addition of a few songs featuring guitar helps bring some variety, but the quality of the vocal delivery is the real selling point.

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Track by Track Review
Carnival by the Sea
Piano and vocals drive this number. This is gentle, entertaining and artistic. The vocals have a soulful quality to them.
Sweetest Wine
I like the energy and groove on this piece. It's not a big change from the opener, but it works well.
L’extase de l’oubli
Guitar brings this into being. The arrangement is more developed. They lyrics are in French. This cut works really well. It brings some variety and some proggier sounds.
In the Night
There is a jazzy, bluesy kind of feeling to this cut. We're back into the piano zones on this number.
Listen to your Heart
A bouncy kind of almost jazz groove is on the menu here. It's another with just piano and vocals.
The music to this is rather intricate. There is an artsy angle to the piece, but it's also grounded.
The Kingdom
A guitar based tune, this number makes me think of Rickie Lee Jones to some degree. It has a jazzy edge.
War and Love
I really love the pretty piano melody on this tune. The cut works well, and the vocal performance on this is among the best of the disc. There is a classy instrumental break on this tune.
Dans tes Veux
Another tune in French, this is classy stuff.
Fall and Rise
Another piano and vocal tune, this is effective, but not a real change from the rest.
The Neck of a Rose
The guitar based songs are always welcome as they bring variety to the proceedings. This is no exception. It's a solid tune, too.
I dig the soulful vibe to the vocals on this number. The piano is inspired, too. The cut works well.
Psalm 116
As you might guess from the title, this is a Biblically oriented piece. It's not bad, but a little too samey and just not as effective as some of the rest.         
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