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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Chris St. John

I'm Dreaming

Review by Gary Hill

This is an intriguing collection of music. It's interesting to note that music is a secondary career choice for Chris St. John. His other field is the law, where he's worked as a practicing attorney and even been a judge. The music created here is fairly diverse, but all lands in what I suppose would be considered singer-songwriter territory. I have to admit to not always finding the vocals here my kind of thing, but there are some real winners on the album.

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Track by Track Review
I Need A Horse
I like the intricate acoustic guitar on this tune. The piece has a country and folk angle to it. I'm not as enthused by the lyrics or the vocals, but overall the tune works pretty well.
I Called You Rose
A bouncy cut, this an alternative rock edge from the vocals. It's combined with a playful sort of folk music concept on the instrumental arrangement.
Your Baby Loves You
This tune elevates things. There is a real folk rock angle to this along with some hints of country music. The rich arrangement is has some magic built into it.
Pacific Sunrise
Symphonic strings make up this short musical interlude.
Dreams are Free
With audio clips of the Challenger disaster at the start, this cut is a mellow and dramatic folk based number. It's evocative and one of the standouts here.
Two Tender Angels
Old-school Latin music heavily entrenched in the arrangement on this cut. The number feels very retro in nature. It's effective, but not a standout.
A Box of Jewels
There is a bit of a music-box vibe to the introduction on this cut. The track works out from there to a more traditional folk arrangement. This has a lot of emotion and style.
The Winds they Blow
Starting with piano, this works out to more of a classy folk-inspired soft rock piece. That said, it soars out to some proggy territory further down the road. The symphonic strings lend their magic to this cut, too.
Looking at the Sky
More artistic in nature, this has a folk angle and some alternative ones. The lyrics again lose me, but the song works reasonably well despite it. It does feel a little awkward, though, and lands toward the bottom of the disc for me.
The Chances I Gave to You
I love the instrumental section on this tune. The number seems to deftly merge jazz, bluegrass, folk and rock. This might be my favorite tune on the disc.
Peggy O'
Intricate, delicate and mellow, this is a solid number, but not one of my favorites.
The Guests have Gone Home
This is a Christmas song. It's a classy folk rock number with a lot of style.
You Sang to Me
The sounds of a hospital are on the menu as this starts. There is a sad nature to this cut. The female vocals on this lend something special to it.
Never Forget the Day / Walk Through The Forest
A folk rock arrangement drives this track as it gets going. The second half of this two-fer takes us into psychedelic territory complete with sitar.
I'll Send you My Heart
I really love the intricate guitar work on this mellow piece of music.
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