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Humphrey-McKeown

Tapestry of Shadows

Review by G. W. Hill
It seems that a lot of people get their music in small, single song dosages these days. That's probably a good thing for this album. That's because not everything is strong. There are a couple tunes that I would have left off the album to make it a better release. Unfortunately one of those is the opener. It tries to hard to be tied to modern pop and falls flat because of it. I tend to think that the closing tune, while not one I'd have left off, might have worked better toward the middle of the set. Still, this act's balance of roots based music with rock and country elements works really well. The two voices tend to play off one another and complement each other in style most of the time. I'd recommend this to anyone who likes folk based music. I'd suggest you skip the first track and start with the second one, though.
Track by Track Review
Beautiful

Energized, this is part of folk and roots music and part pop rock. It's rather fun, but I'm not crazy about a lot of the vocals on it.

Better Day
Now, this is much better. It's more of a blues based number. The roots elements bring folk and country to the table. This is classy.
You Don't Know Me
The bass that starts this brings a bit of a jazz vibe to the table. The cut works out from there in a fairly stripped back and very cool arrangement. As this gets more layers of sound later I'm actually reminded of things like the more world music based stuff from Camper Van Beethoven. Coming from me, that's high praise. This has quite a bit of a progressive vibe to it, too. As good as the last song was, this is even stronger.
Flower on the Wall
This opens more purely folk music oriented. It grows out to something with a lot more layers over the top. To me, when it starts it's not as strong. When it gets more powerful, then it really soars.
Someday
There is some pop rock in the song structure here, but overall this is a more purely folk oriented thing. It has some catchy hooks and energy. It's not as strong as the last couple tunes, though. It definitely feels like something that would have been at home in the late 60s or early 70s.
Sasha on the Carousel
This one definitely feels like the folk groups of the 1960s. It's pure folk and packed with magic. It's a highlight of the set.
Our Beautiful Sad Dance
The title of this really fits. This is beautiful and sad. It's mellow folk music. It's one of the strongest cuts of the set.
Your Secret's Safe
More energetic, this is more of a folk rocker. I really like this one, too. It's a potent number with some great melodies and themes.
Passing Shadows
The opening of this makes me think of some of the more folk oriented stuff from Fleetwood Mac. As it grows out to more rocking stuff, that comparison still applies. This is a powerhouse tune. It might be my favorite number of the set. The jamming on this is exceptional. It works out more to Celtic prog territory during those instrumental sections.
You and I
Pretty and poignant, this is very much a folk prog styled piece. It has so much drama and power. It's another highlight of the set.
Madness
This is a fast paced tune that's probably more country that it is folk. It's a powerhouse number and another standout.
Sunshine Today
Country music and pop merge on this cut. It's a fun song, but not one of the highlights. Still, it does a decent job of closing things in style.
 
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