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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Cairo (UK)


Review by Gary Hill

This band has such an intriguing sound. They mix modern, more hard rocking things with classic prog elements and more. The use of both male and female lead vocals lends the kind of versatility that bands like Jefferson Airplane and Fleetwood Mac had in their catalog. This act is both classic and genre breaking. This new collection of music stands as tall as their past work and brings some fresh ideas and sounds.

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Track by Track Review
Asleep At The Wheel
This drives in hard rocking and fast-paced. As it continues, I'm definitely reminded to some degree of Dream Theater, but with hints of something like Led Zeppelin. Then it shifts to more pure progressive rock zones in an abrupt twist. They continue to change this number. There is a somewhat stripped back modern prog approach for the first vocal sections.  A movement later takes into melodic, retro sounding progressive rock for a different vocal delivery. They drive out from there with an instrumental movement that seems equally tied to both modern and classic prog. Then we get a return to the modern stuff for the next singing.
Trip Wire
Beginning driving and hard-edged, this has a real bluesy rock groove as the female vocals come over the top. They work this to proggier zones later, but it remains more modern and edgy throughout. There is a killer fast-paced jam later that really brings the prog to bear at full force.
Keyboards and female vocals are on the menu as this gets going .It is a pretty balladic arrangement in that section. It gets a more powered up arrangement later complete with driving and expressive guitar solo. They turn it out to some classically inspired prog featuring killer keyboard work from there. It gets quite powerful as the cut continues. 
Powerhouse prog rock that is both modern and edgy and mainstream, gets this going. They take this through a number of changes. There is a melodic prog section later that drives it well.
The Love
I recognize the piano melody that gets this underway, but I can't quite place it. There is some "Bolero" in the mix later as the arrangement is filled out. They keep building the prog stylings from there. It drops down to that piano part again at the end.
New Beauty
Intricate, balladic prog is on the menu as this gets going. It builds out with a section that includes an unusual and very classy vocal arrangement featuring both male and female singing. Then a new dramatic, mellower movement takes over with just the female vocals in place. Like pretty much everything here, a number of changes ensue throughout the run. There is a more textural movement later with guitar over the top that really makes me think of late era Pink Floyd. It explodes out into a short, but killer prog jam at the end. That part makes me think of Saga.
Déjà vu
The rhythmic element at the start of this calls to mind Phil Collins and Duke-era Genesis. Keyboards move it forward in a mellow motif. Male vocals take the lead over an arrangement that's again a little Pink Floyd-like. This continues to evolve, but that Floyd thing is definitely in place, particularly when the guitar solo rises up. That section closes the track.
Jumping On The Moon
There are some killer prog twists and turns on this number. It's pretty well powered up and classy. This has some almost Yes-like things later. It's another that does a great job of merging modern and classic prog elements.
Save The Earth
There are some sampled spoken voices on this, but beyond that it's an instrumental. It starts quite textural and builds outward getting more dramatic and rather symphonic before it's over.
This is another powerful and varied prog cut. This thing works through a number of twists and turns along the way. At points it calls to mind Pink Floyd. This is really a progressive rock powerhouse, making it a great choice for both title track and closer.
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