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Noise Ratio

Songs on Fire

Review by Gary Hill

Perhaps this isn't progressive rock. It is clearly art rock, though. This is electronic music. The vocals are a bit on the odd, alternative rock side of the equation. The music shifts and changes frequently. This is quirky, but also very artistic. It's not going to be one of my favorite things, but there is plenty here to like.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Freed Love

Piano opens this. The musical concept is rather minimalist. The vocals seem detached and cold. There are processed vocals that join later as the arrangement builds outward. Those aren't processed in a modern fashion way, but more in an art rock kind of fashion. In fact, this cut fits well under the "art rock" banner. It gets pretty powerful, but remains essentially electronic in the process.

Trial and Error
This isn't a big change. That said, when it's this good, why change. Electronic sounds that land well in the "art rock" vein are the concept here.
Keeping Silent
Moody electronic sounds make up the musical ideas on this piece. There are sounds like classical strings, but I am guessing they are synthesized. This is another great progressive music piece.
Left Alone with My Beliefs
While not a massive change, this has a lot more energy than the previous cut. It feels more mainstream in some ways. It's a fun number.
Lost in Thought
While the dark electronic sound on this has a cool grinding rocking element, I don't think the vocals here work as well as they do at other points here. Still, the intriguing musical arrangement with its classical music goes electronic hard rock elevates the piece.
Cage of Emotion
There is a lot more of a rock energy to this piece, too. That's blended with the electronic sounds and a classical element. This is less mainstream than a lot of the rest here. It's much more on the artsy side of the spectrum. This has some of the coolest musical passages of the whole set. The vocal arrangement on this is intriguing, particularly with the low range section.
Falling Behind Time
I like some of the piano on this cut quite a bit. There are some particularly dramatic musical passages later, too. This gets into some decidedly more rock driven stuff further down the musical road, too.
Free Falling
This comes in with much more of a rock band sound. Sure, the elements are still electronic, but it has a meaty, dense rock texture to it. It's still nicely quirky, though.
Seeking the Truth
I dig the piano melodies that open this. By this point you kind of have a firm grip on this sound as it's well tied to the bulk of the set. That doesn't reduce the impact of this stunning piece of artsy music.
Blinding Love
While this isn't a huge change, the symphonic sounding elements to this give it almost a soundtrack music kind of sound. The faster paced, more rocking stuff later is quite cool.
 
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