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Intelligent Music Project II

My Kind O’ Lovin’

Review by Gary Hill

This is quite a diverse set, covering things from jazz to hard rock, progressive rock and more. Frankly, there’s enough prog here that (given the range of stuff presented) I’ve included it in the prog section at MSJ. Your mileage may vary, though. Still, the quality of the disc is probably not up for debate. Three musicians here are listed on the cover as featured. Simon Phillips has played with everyone from The Who and Mike Oldfield to Judas Priest, Jeff Beck, Gary Moore and others. John Lawton is best known for his work in Uriah Heep near the start of that outfit. Joseph Williams was featured on four albums from Toto.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
My Kind O' Lovin'

Although this starts very mellow with jazzy elements at its heart, it is full of passion and power. There is a full progressive rock bit mid-track, but overall this is very much like a mellow jazz arrangement. There is also a powerhouse prog bit for a short time near the end.

Friends
More of a smooth rock vibe is the basis here. A fast paced prog jam takes it later. They work out to some killer jazz further down the road.
No One Can Deny It
Mellow rock and progressive rock are the main components here. This is melodic and energetic. It has a great vocal arrangement. The opening rocks out pretty hard and so does the jam mid-track.
Get Into Real
Hard soulful rock meets with prog, jazz and more on this killer jam. It’s a hard-edged number that works really well. It’s got a great groove and some tasty guitar soloing. The piano led movement mid-track really brings that progressive rock sound home.
Simple Game
Acoustic guitar opens this and strings come across the arrangement. This gets a lot of rock (and even some crunchy guitar soloing), but overall is a power-ballad. While not the proggiest thing here, there is enough prog to keep it there.
Happiness
World music, folk and jazz all seem to merge on this. At times it makes me think of Queen just a bit. The vocal arrangement really steals the show on this number.
7 Things We Can't Do
Piano starts things and the song builds out with world music, mellow prog and more merging. They work through in a fairly mellow manner for quite a while. Eventually it gets more rocking sound mid-track for a real prog rock jam. It drops down to mellow again after a time, though to continue.
Time to Move Along
This hard rocker comes in feeling quite a bit like Rainbow. It grows out to more of a straight ahead rocker from there. This number has some definite heavy metal leanings built into it.
Love Song
With a lot of Spanish music built into this early on, this cut combines mellower sounds with very hard rocking ones. It’s one that’s more or less a power-ballad. It’s got a lot of progressive rock built into the arrangement, too.
People on Fire
The main section of this song is essentially a ballad. They power it out to harder rocking jams at times, though. This reminds me of Uriah Heep to a good degree really. That said, there are some hints of Santana in the mix, as well.
Step in Learnin'
Although in a lot of ways this is a pretty mainstream AOR tune, it has some proggy moments. It’s also got a real excursion into jazz later, too.
Understand the Morning
Although overall this is more of a mainstream adult contemporary piece, it’s got enough progressive rock in the mix to keep it interesting.
Conclusion
This hard rocker is quite a strong one with some definite jazz and progressive rock in the mix. The vocal arrangement is quite potent here. They drop it out into a mellow jam later in the piece that starts jazz-like but works more towards prog as it continues. Symphonic elements are included at times here. The piece really rocks at others. This is really a complex and dynamic piece that’s a real powerhouse. It serves up a line from the chorus of the first track near the end. That bookends this nicely.
 
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