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Forrest Hill

ShadowLight

Review by Gary Hill

This album has a pretty good balance between mellower and more powered up pieces. Personally, I think that it could use a bit more range in terms of intensity and tempo, though. It tends to make the set feel just a tiny bit samey. I say that only in the interest of full-disclosure, though, because it's a pretty minor issue. There really is quite a bit of variety. Overall this lands in a retro drenched style with both alternative rock and pop in the mix alongside folk and soul.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Everything Lost
Folk music meets singer/songwriter elements here. The strings add something to the cut and there are some definite alternative pop stylings here, too.
Still Crazy Over You
The horns bring a bit of a jazzy vibe. Overall this is more of a soulful, old school number. There are some hints of alternative pop in the vocals, but this almost feels like something that could have come from Motown.
Cold Rain’s Coming
I dig the cool old school rock and roll side to this thing. It has an alternative rock edge to it for sure, though. The female backing vocals are a great touch. So is the violin.
Like A Fire
Mainstream pop rock with a folk and singer/songwriter vibe is all over this. It's the kind of thing that would work very well on the radio. It's a gentle, slow moving number that's quite pretty.
Birds Fly to Heaven
Speaking of gentle folk music, that's really the concept here. The piano and symphonic strings bring a lot of magic to the arrangement. The song itself is the real shining factor here, though. It poignant and beautiful.
Circle of Life
Although this still has a lot of folk music in the mix, it's probably closest to an alternative pop rock styling. It's catchy, and the strings add something special.
The Great Divide
Another with both folk music and alternative rock at its heart, this has a good energy and catchy hooks. The vibes lend something cool to the cut. I like the guitar solo, too.
Real Thing
The horns are back on this energetic alternative rocker. It's a fun piece of music with a catchy retro-tinged chorus.
Let’s Fall Down
I love the picked guitar and piano that start this number. It has a lot of old school folk rock in the mix. It's an interesting and entertaining piece with a rather stripped back arrangement. It does get some backing vocals and symphonic strings later, though.
Free
This is more purely alternative rock. It's energized and fun. It has a cool vibe to it. And, since that vibes sound is back, that fits in more than one way. There is a cool melodic guitar solo here, too.
Anything Can Happen
Percussion leads this one into being. Then a count in brings us to a soulful kind of retro arrangement. I dig the organ solo on this number.
One Better
A mellow alternative rock meets folk cut ends the set in style.
 
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