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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Sam Himself

Power Ballads

Review by Gary Hill

This set isn't, at least to my ear, all power ballads. It's not even all ballads. It is packed full of good music, though. Some songs work better than others, but that's true of every album. Reference points seem to run the gamut from 80s music to Americana, electronic music and even some proggy tendencies. All in all, this is an interesting set that never feels repetitive or tired.

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Track by Track Review
This has a measured, almost Gothic 80s vibe to it. The song ends abruptly.
La Paz
A rhythmic thing starts this. The number has a more stripped back, almost Americana based vibe to it. It grows out with style and charm from there. This makes me think of Chris Isaak to some degree.
Nothing Like The Night
Energetic 80s styled music rules the world on this song. It has some classic textures and good melodies.
The Missing
This is much mellower and slower. It's a particularly evocative tune that is also one of my favorites here. There is plenty of that 80s sound here, but it is also more timeless. It has a largely electronic arrangement to it.
Way Out
A dreamier, mellow arrangement is on the menu here. This has a dream pop sort of texture to it, along with some Americana. It's another effective track.
What It's Worth
I dig the dreamy pop rock groove of this number. It's another solid entry here.
Men In My Family
An echoey, mellow arrangement is in the driver's seat here. This builds out with a killer keyboard arrangement that gets almost proggy at times.
Legends Of The Recent Future
Another mellow ballad, this has a dreamy quality and some hints of prog in some of the keyboard textures that are laced over the top.
Picked guitar is a big part of the arrangement on this song. It grows outward and has some definite Americana built into it.
Take The Stage
I dig the stripped back arrangement on this. The cut isn't a huge change, but it is very effective.
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