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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Jon Fuller

When Did You Get So Damn Scared

Review by Gary Hill

What an intriguing album this is. It's still early in the year, but I think this might wind up making my "best of 2022" list before the year is over. It's not an absolutely tight fit under progressive rock, but I think it belongs there. There is an art rock quality to all of it. Yet there is a real pop sensibility here, too. Some tracks really do stand as pure prog (at least for portions). There is such a wide range here. It should probably be noted that those who are homophobic might find things to have a problem with here. More open-minded folks, though, will recognize that all love is love and appreciate the emotional context of the songs in question. All in all, I'd consider this to be intriguing, unique, artistic and very strong.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
Voice
Trippy atmospherics build up to bring this into being. That ends abruptly and then a weird piano and vocal arrangement joins. There is a bit of a jazzy vibe, but also a lot of spacey, dreamy electronic prog concept. This is a slow moving, rather balladic piece that has a real prog feeling a lot of a drama. As it gets faster paced that prog thing is even more prominent. This is very much art music.
How Long
This is a little more direct than the opener was. It's a powerhouse alternative rocker with some real poppy hooks and a lot of style. It's an entertaining tune.
Stepping Stone
A number that seems to fall in between the first two cuts, this has both the artistic elements and catchier ones. There are some proggy vibes and some really artsy ones on this number. The lyrics to this are packed with emotion.
Not in My Name
There is a dramatic, almost neo-classical element to this song. It's another that's artsy and yet also on the catchy side. It works out to more of a mainstream rocking vibe.
Thought We Could Make It
I dig the energetic alternative rock groove of this number. It's a classy song that really has a lot of dreamy atmosphere and artistic tendencies.
Center of Gravity
There is a real proggy concept at the heart of this as it gets going. I definitely get a space rock vibe off of it. There is a short Beatles meets prog instrumental movement later. It drops to a piano and vocal section from there that takes it in new directions from there.
Gonna Have Fun Today
There's a cool, jazzy Americana groove to the start of this. It's playful and suitably fun. That Americana thing doesn't stay around long, but the jazzy ones do. There are some intriguing twists and turns built into the cut. It's quite an entertaining romp. There is a dramatic prog movement later in the track that calls to mind both The Beatles and Queen to some degree.
Lie Yourself to Sleep
I love the driving rocking sound on this. Yet there is enough prog and art rock in the mix to make it really intriguing. This goes through some cool changes, but still features plenty of hooks and hard rocking texture.
Coffee Again
Electric concepts, proggy space rock and more merge on this dramatic tune. It's another slab of pure class. There is a break later in the tune that's full on prog bombast.
Burn It Down
The lyrics to this are poignant and topical. They are about some of the political realities in this country. The tune is fast-paced and so proggy. It's also a real powerhouse piece. I'd consider this to be one of the standouts here.
The Glow
Piano and vocals are at the heart of this number as it gets going. This is another evocative piece of music. It remains a ballad based on just that piano and voice throughout.
I'm
This really is a magnum opus. It has so much of the concept of the rest of the album summed up and powered up into a killer tune. It's full of emotion, artistic expression and modern proggy concepts.
 
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