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Citizen K

III

Review by Gary Hill

Some might argue with landing this under progressive rock. Surely, it's on the AOR side of that equation. This is melodic music with a lot of 1970s sound built into it. There are plenty of peaks and valleys. It's loaded with catchy hooks. The closest comparison would probably be to Klaatu, but I hear some Pink Floyd along with the obvious Beatles references and even some Flower Kings here. However you label this, though, it's a very strong album.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2019  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Welcome Abroad
This comes in with a pleasant kind of melodic groove. This is part psychedelia, part Pink Floyd (think Dark Side of the Moon era) and all cool. I love the melodic guitar soloing on the piece. It works out to some Beatles-like stuff further down the road. This instrumental does a great job of welcoming us onto this journey.
True Companions
The Beatles, Klaatu and more seem to merge here. This is melodic, bouncy and a lot of fun. It has some cool shifts and changes. There are some particularly tasty guitar sounds on this piece, and I love the backing vocals, too. Mid-track it gets some strangeness added to the mix. First a backwards tracked section takes it abruptly. Then the song seems to restart with a mellower version of the main themes. It works back out into the song proper from there in style.
Let This Be Love
This is a bouncy, folk rock based number. This has a lot of pop rock in the mix and really works well.
Toolmaker's Daughter
There is more of a rocking side to this piece. It has a cool melodic groove, but is also quote proggy. I love the soaring guitar work on this thing. The vocal arrangement on this is so powerful and rich.
Ocean's Call
Another killer melodic rocker, this has a lot of energy and some tasty hooks. There is some smoking hot guitar work, too. I love the intricate and mellower movement on this number.
Cancelled Flight
Piano brings this in with pretty and classy textures. I love the vocal lines on this cut. Again Klaatu comes to mind in a lot of ways. This is more of a ballad than it is anything else. It has some of the Beatles element, too.
How Are You Gonna Handle It?
A melodic rocker, there is plenty of mainstream rock along with prog tendencies here. The vocal arrangement is tasty, and there is a great energy and flow to this.
Radio Classic (No More Songs About Jetplanes, Please!)
Another AOR styled tune, this is fun stuff. It's got a lot of pop rock in the mix, and probably lands more in that vein than the prog end of things. There are a lot of comparisons to be made to The Beatles here.
Once You Had
A mellower tune there is a bit of a folk rock kind of vibe to this. There is a lot of pop rock built into it. I like the melodic guitar solo.
Piano In The Rain
The sounds of a storm begin this. Piano comes in at about the same time as the vocals do. There are a lot of Beatles references to be made here, but this has plenty of psychedelia in the mix. Yet it also has more of a 1970s rock texture to it. The cut has a mellower opening movement but gets into more rocking territory at times.
Beasts of England
This instrumental is energized and a lot of fun. It's prog meets pop rock and all cool.
And You Danced All Night (Coda)
I dig the piano sound and melodies on this mellower number. It's pretty and quite effective. The later parts of this tune have a lot of Beatles built into it, but I'd actually say that it's more George Harrison specifically than Beatles in general.
After The Fact (Encore)
I love the vaguely psychedelic edge to this cut. The piano melodies are so classy, and the climbing guitar fill has such a great meaty sound. There is a bit of Pink Floyd on this number along with plenty of Klaatu. There is a dreamy kind of texture that works very well. I love the sound of the guitar on the outro solo.
 
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