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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Steve Noonan


Review by Gary Hill

This is a brand new album that lands more or less in the singer-songwriter zone. It has a lot of folk rock and more in the mix. There is not a weak tune here. It's all packed full of classy hooks and solid music. My only complaint (and it's a minor one) is that there isn't enough variety here. I think that this might work better if it were a little shorter because it does tend to feel a little samey before its over. Again, though, that's a minor complaint. This is strong enough that it never becomes a real issue, just a small quibble.

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Track by Track Review
Either Way
I dig the melodic guitar sound that opens this track, and the album. This has a real 1970s mainstream rock sound to it. It's almost yacht rock, really. Overall, singer-songwriter is more the proper genre of this. It has some great hooks and a lot of style.
Wake Up With You
This has a classic and timeless sound, too. If anything, I like this tune better than the opener. It has a good balance between a bit mellower and more rocking zones.
The title track is a cool rocker. It has some hints of progressive rock, while still maintaining the elements that we've heard on the previous cuts. This is dramatic, powerful and elevated pretty well. The hooks are exceptional on this.
It’s All Gone Wrong
More dramatic, this rocker has a great hard-edged electric folk rock vibe to it. As good as the tracks that preceded it were, this really ups the ante. It's so evocative and powerful.
My Words Will Reach You
A bit more of a melodic, versus rocking, piece, this has some cool hooks, too. This is a good song, but it seems a little bit of a let-down from the one that directly preceded it. Then again, as strong as that number is, that's to be expected.
Rising Fast
The song structure on this is a bit more complex than some of the other numbers. It doesn't sacrifice the hooks for that complexity, though. Still, while this is a good tune, it's not one of the highlights. It does feel a bit like an "also ran."
When You Know
I dig the folk rocking concepts here. This is another strong singer-songwriter track. The melodic guitar solo is particularly classy.
One More Second Chance
I love the hooks and groove on this song. This is a standout number. It's not a sea-change in terms of forms or styles. It's just an escalation of power and passion.
Left Behind
I love the almost balladic, story concept behind this number. It's a classic folk meets rock styled tune. It has great hooks and a lot of magic in the mix. It's another standout.
No More to Say
Perhaps a bit more pure powered up folk music, this has more of a power-ballad vibe to it. It's a good tune, but not one of the strongest things here.
Lying to Myself
I love the dramatic instrumental opening to this piece. The cut has a lot of powerful folk music in the mix. This is a classy tune cut from that same singer-songwriter cloth.
With You It’s Hard to Know
More of a  pure ballad as it starts, this brings some variety to the table. It does move to something more purely aligned with the standard singer-songwriter sounds that have dominated the album.
Calm Me Down
This is without question one of the strongest pieces of the disc. It's not a huge change in terms of style, but the melodies and so potent. This is packed full of emotion and drama. The guitar solo is just about perfect, too. This is definitely an example of ending on a strength.


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