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Amanda Easton

Polaroids & Postcards

Review by Gary Hill

While I've put this set under progressive rock, it's not traditional progressive rock. It has an electronic vibe that sometimes leans toward space rock and even pure progressive rock. Beyond that, this is art music, meaning art rock, although perhaps a bit short on the rock part of the equation. Whatever you call this, though, it is unique and quite intriguing stuff.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Man Who Fell to Earth
Cool keyboards bring this into being. As the vocals join this feels like some trippy spacey jazz concept. The song mentions "science fiction," so it's appropriate that there is a sci-fi kind of vibe to it. As it gets more energetic it takes on sort of a James Bond theme song vibe. This is an unusual, but somehow compelling track. It is dramatic and rather evocative.
Eye to Eye
This opens with an electronic, mellower groove, and that holds much of the piece. It gets a bit more energized late, but that more sedate element dominates. This has a bit of a grounding effect after the space-bound textures of the opener.
I Saw the Message

Again mellow electronics begin this cut. This is slow moving and has a real classic sound to it, but filtered through that electronic element. I love the vocal performance and arrangement on this piece. In fact, I'd consider this to be one of the highlights of the set. This gets more powered up and a bit soaring later.

Letter to a Small Boy
Much mellower and slower moving than the stuff that preceded it, this is quite a pretty piece. It has a real art rock vibe to it. Symphonic elements bring a classical edge. I'd actually land this particular piece fully under progressive rock. That said, the "rock" part of the equation is not represented, as I said in the overall review of this set. .
Polaroids & Postcards
The opening section of this has a real mellow electronic groove. As it gains more energy this gets really rocking. It makes sense for this to be the title track because it's one of the strongest tunes here. There is a real prog edge to this number, too. It's definitely classy stuff.
Rockabilly Blue
There is a bit of an electronic space element at play on some of the more powered up parts of this cut. The mellower stuff is artsy and electronic. Then again, those two qualities are heard throughout this set, really.
 
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