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Zeelley Moon

Zeelley Moon

Review by Gary Hill

This album is so strong. The music here is of the melodic progressive rock variety. While quite a bit of it calls to mind Pink Floyd, there are other reference points that are not quite as prog oriented, too. At times you might hear Steely Dan as an influence. There is clearly a lot of jazz in the mix. I can even make out some Bob Welsh at times, too. This is just such a classy album.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Itchy Feet
A little bit of an announcer on the radio giving out some news starts this. The cut shifts from there to a little jam that feels like a prog rock take on something from the old Charlie Brown cartoons. This is fun, energetic and just classy. It's also an instrumental. I really dig the melodic guitar soloing on this piece.
Smile
The sounds of nature start this track. Jazzy piano rises upward from there and the cut begins to evolve. Around the half minute mark some classy fusion sounds with killer retro prog stylings emerge to carry things. It continues to evolve from there, feeling at times a bit like Dark Side of the Moon era Pink Floyd. The vocals bring more of a soulful vibe. The soaring prog rock jam late in the track is so cool.
Tricks and Tragedy
Bird sounds begin this track. It works out from there with some killer musical textures. This again calls to mind Pink Floyd a little. There are also some jazzy textures here. This has a real melodic mainstream prog rock vibe. It's accessible, energetic and really works well. There is some particularly noteworthy guitar work in some of the later instrumental stuff here. This really gets dramatic and powerful as it carries forward, but remains set in a melodic prog motif. I love the transition back into the song proper after the instrumental movement. That main song part seems to get an infusion of extra energy as it comes back into being.
The Tick Tock
There is a real time ticking away kind of vibe to this piece. Jazz, melodic progressive rock and more makes up the basic concept here. This one almost lands in a jazz vicinity, really. That said, there are enough prog elements and even things like 80s pop music built into this to keep it from becoming full jazz. There are some definite soaring moments at the heart of this musical beast.
See Me Fly
Piano brings this out of the gate. The cut grows outward from there with some soaring, driving sounds. It has some killer musical textures. This is another melodic prog piece, but it's more energized than some of the rest. There are some particularly dramatic segments here.
Weight of the World
Also starting with piano, this gets into some rather symphonic and classical motifs as it builds upward. Eventually some guitar and synthesizer lead a drive toward a more prog rock based scenario. I really love the fast paced, soaring jam that ensues around the two and a half minute mark. It's a powerhouse arrangement that really works very well.
Designer Crime
There is almost a soulful vibe to the opening of this number. Keyboards drive it at first, but as a crunchy guitar rises up the tune twists more toward a prog rock kind of vibe. In some ways this a harder rocking piece than some of the rest. It's high energy and so classy, too.
Living on the Water
I like this song a lot. There is a bit of a dreamy, trippy vibe to it. In a lot of ways it reminds me of the Bob Welsh era of Fleetwood Mac. Yet, it's proggier than that at the same time. It is such a great number. The guitar solo again shines. That section brings a bit of that Pink Floyd reference again.
Feel so Real
A killer groove, this jam has a nice mellow prog vibe, but the guitar soars over the top at times bringing a more rocking edge. The organ solo later in the track lends some killer retro texture to the piece.
Out of the Blue
This comes in like a piano player is laying down some melodies in a crowded area. Some keyboards lace it as the crowd noise begins to drop back a bit. Then as it shifts to just piano again the crowd rises up again. Those non instrumental sounds drop away as the tune begins to take on song-like elements. The other instruments join after a bit and we're out into another killer melodic prog jam. This is quite symphonic as it grows outward. It drops back a bit for the vocals to join, and it again makes me think of Pink Floyd just a bit. I particularly like the acoustic guitar soloing that comes in around the three and a half minute mark. At the end of the track a gentle melodic movement is joined by the sounds of the sea to close it.
 
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