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Arthur Fowler

Here I Am Again

Review by Gary Hill

The mix of retro stylings with jazz and other sounds here is quite cool. This short set is diverse and effective. Personally, I think the vocals don't always work as well as they could. That said, it's only a minor quibble. All in all, this is a solid EP.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Here I Am
I dig the retro pop meets jazz vibe on the musical arrangement here. The vocals don't work as well on the verses to me, though. That said, the chorus is fun and energized. The organ lends a cool flavor, and the guitar solo is so tasty.
Blues for Wesley
This instrumental is so tasty. It has a lot of the same kind of sonic elements as the opener (a mix of 1960s music like Booker T. and the MGs combined with jazz), but it just seems meatier and tastier. I love the instrumental work on this thing. The cool driving riff provided by the rhythm section is great, too.
Tick Tock
The vocals here work well. This has the same blend of sounds as we've heard on the previous cuts, but it feels a bit more modern. There is a suitably clock-like rhythm to this piece. I love the keyboard soloing on the number. At times this makes me think of space rock just a bit.
Los AƱos
Nature sounds that feel like blizzard winds to me start this. Some guitar climbs up from there in a rather freeform fusion-like progression. Other sounds threaten to join, but then drop away leaving just the weather. From there they climb back out into another cool jam. The mix of sounds isn't all that different, but the musical concept is different. This is a fun number. I don't like the vocals as well as those on the previous piece, but they work pretty well. I really love the keyboard sounds on this thing. There are definitely some space rock inspired elements on the mid-track section.
Disappearing
This is a big difference. At its heart it's a folk rock tune. There are some proggy elements at play here. I can make out some definite fusion. The vocals here are among the most successful of the disc. I think this might be my favorite song here. It's just so cool. That makes it a great choice to close the disc.
 
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