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Unknown Hero

In My Head

Review by Gary Hill

It would be pretty easy to lump this in with a lot of modern pop music and electronic dance music. Clearly this shares a lot of territory with that kind of sound. However, this album is much more creative than the bulk of those genre. There is almost a progressive music vibe here, and the science fiction angle to the concepts bears that out in definite ways. I like this set quite a bit. Yes, the vocals are processed. I'm not a big fan of that in general. For the most part here, it really works, though. This isn't necessarily my kind of music, but there is plenty here to pull me in despite that. I would imagine that people who are really into this kind of stuff would really love it.

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
Be Alright (ft. Kate Wild)
An intricate acoustic guitar section opens this. The vocals enter after a bit, and we're in more of a processed kind of electronic pop song. This is a bit on the odd side, but in a good way. That makes it a bit unpredictable. There are powerful moments, jazzy elements and more here. There are symphonic elements at play, too.
Monsters in My Head

I dig the trippy electronic music vibe on this. The vocals are a bit over-processed for my tastes, though. While the music built around a modern pop element, there are symphonic sides to it, hard rocking ones and more. This is definitely away from the norms.

Her Name
The modern pop sounds are still present on this, but this comes across more like an electronic space music type of piece. This could almost qualify as progressive music.
A Minor 2125
There are some particularly pretty elements at play here. This feels like a modern classical piece in a lot of ways. I think that's the point, given the title. There are some non-lyrical vocals on this, but otherwise it's an instrumental.
Hero Beware
I really dig the electronic groove on this piece. The extremely processed voice at the onset is designed to sound artificial or alien and does so in style. This has some cool melodies and energy. There are some computer type vocals later in the track, and overall this is very trippy and space-oriented.
One More Day
With both male and female vocal loops at the start, this is a trippy kind of modern jam. This is more of a hip hop kind of piece as the main vocals (still processed) enter. This is creative and dramatic.
Make It Happen
The modern pop music groove on this works quite well. I dig the texture and vibe on this number.
Dance
As you might guess from the title, this is electronic dance music. It has a cool groove and is rather unusual as the genre goes. It has some cool atmosphere.
Keep Moving Me
I love the funky guitar sound that opens this number. It eventually shifts out to another cool electronic groove. There is definitely a healthy helping of fusion the mix, though.
Going for a Ride
Another classy electronic pop song, the rhythmic groove and keyboard textures on this are both great. This number has a few vocals, but is mostly instrumental.
Ask Me
There is a lot more of a hip hop groove to this piece. It is cool, but not a highlight. I do like the vocals on the piece quite a bit.
Hero's Groove
Somehow there is a bit of a James Brown vibe to this. There is a lot of old school soul music sound merged with more modern elements on this piece. Like a lot of the music here, there are a few vocals, but it's mostly instrumental. I suppose this one does qualify as electronic dance music more than it does anything else.
Close My Door
There are a lot more vocals on this piece. The number is very electronic, but also quite soulful. It has a cool groove and vibe to it.
Be Alright (Instrumental)
Some cool acoustic guitar work opens this. The electronic music enters as that continues, bringing drama and more layers of sound. There are some vocal loops on the track, despite the parenthetical. I suppose they are used more as instrumentation, though. I like this version of the cut much better than the one that opened the disc. I just wasn't all that crazy about Kate Wild's vocals.
Monsters (Instrumental)
Here we get another instrumental take of one of the cuts from the earlier in the set, but this time the title gets shortened, too. Again there are some vocal bits as loops on this take. I like this version quite a bit, but I think I prefer the original version.
 
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