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Gary Wilson

It's Christmas Time with Gary Wilson

Review by Gary Hill

Gary Wilson's music is not really progressive rock. "Eccentric electronic sounds" might be a better label. Still, there are enough ties to Frank Zappa (that element runs through just about everything Wilson does) to make it land under prog. This is a Christmas release from Wilson and it's oddly satisfying. I should note that this was actually released last year. Unfortunately, by the time I got my copy our December issue was finished, and it didn't make sense to run it in the February issue.

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
Lonely Holiday (Intro)
At first this is lush and pretty with sound-effects built into it. Then voices saying "holiday" enter as the music turns dark and twisted.
A Christmas Tree for Two
Electronic Frank Zappa styled music is the concept here. This is bouncy and odd, but also quite cool. It's also fun.
I Saw Santa Dancing in the Dark

While this isn't a big change from the previous tune, it's not a carbon copy by any means. I like the meter of this cut a lot.

A Sled Ride Tonight

This is oddly compelling. Again, electronic Zappa styled sound is the best description.

The Snow

Freaky weirdness makes up the concepts of this cut. As bizarre as this is, it's also oddly compelling. Weird soundclips of spoken bits are swirled around uncomfortable keyboard parts.

Holiday

The arrangement on this is rich. The cut is bouncy and a bit playful. It's another winner.

Cindy Wants to Cry

There are jazzy elements in the mix here. This so dramatic and cool. It's one of my favorites on the disc.

Wintertime in Johnson City

This isn't a huge change. It's a bouncy energized cut that works well.

It's Snowing in Endicott

While this isn't a big change, it's one of the most effective pieces here.

Lost in the Snow
By now you know what to expect. That said, this is still fun.
She Danced Near the Frozen Lake

This instrumental is a full-on jazz cut.

A Date for New Year's Eve
We're back into the standard bouncing sound we expect on this album.
Santa Claus Is Coming to My Lonely Town

More of the typical Gary Wilson entertainment, this is one of the most effective pieces here.

Lonely Holiday (Exit)
The weirdness from the opening cut returns here. It makes for a nice bookend.
 
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