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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Conner Cherland

Call Waiting

Review by Gary Hill

This new set from Conner Cherland seems to me as a set that would benefit from a little shuffling around of songs. The first four tracks here are a bit samey, landing in the zone of 80s music. The final two are among the strongest, and definitely bring some variety. I think that moving one of those ballads to the second or third position on the disc would allow for the set to flow better. Still, in today's listen to one or two songs at a time world, I'm not sure how important that is. The fact is, every song here works well on its own, and this is a strong set.

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Track by Track Review
Call Waiting
I dig the driving energy and catchy hooks on this track. The number has a real 80s rock groove to it. It's classy new wave inspired stuff.
You Are What You Take In
The formula doesn't get a bit rebuild here, but this is just another effective 80s styled number.
Starting with keyboards, this works out to an arrangement built around the rhythm section for the verse. It gets more powered up on the choruses. While there are no paradigms shifted here, this song manages to rise above the two that preceded it. Given how strong those were, that says a lot. This is driving and infectious.
I Don't Need CA
Perhaps a bit harder rocking, this one is also catchy. It's a strong number that provides some minor variants on the themes. While I think it's a bit of a let-down from the previous one, it does land on the more effective end of the spectrum.
Good For Something
Now, this is a big change. It's ballad built around keyboards as the only backdrop for the vocals. This is one of the highlights in part because of the variety it presents. The thing it, it's superior because of the evocative quality of it, too. All in all, this might be my favorite tune here.
Here we get another ballad. I really like this song a lot, too. This is a guitar based number, though. I think that these two closers should have probably been split up a bit more to give a better variety and flow to the release. Then again, given how people tend to listen to music these days, I'm not sure album flow is a big issue.
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