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The Pierce Project

Songs for Emi

Review by Gary Hill

This is a peculiar set. That doesn't mean it's a bad set. It's just a bit hard to wrap my head around. The first four songs feel like a children's record. Then it all shifts to more of a modern alternative prog release. That second half is the reason I landed it under prog, although even some of the earlier tracks have proggy tendencies. Whatever you call this, there are a lot of cool songs on it, and only one I just don't get at all. I have to wonder if this might have worked better as an EP consisting of the first four songs and an album made up of the rest (perhaps with the last song left off altogether).

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 6. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

Track by Track Review
Hi Emylia
After adorable babbling from a baby, piano rises upward. The vocals join, bringing in a bit of a Beatles element. The arrangement fills in after a bit of time, begging even more of those comparisons.
Oh Banana
Bouncy pop music, this seems to be an homage to the tasty yellow treat that is a banana.
Good Morning
The opening sounds on this make me think of a music box. The track works through a number of changes as it grows, though. There is an almost progressive rock vibe to this piece.
Vanilla Parfait
A bouncy sort of pop piece, this starts with a piano and vocal arrangement. More instruments join after the first vocal section, and the track gets more of those progressive rock like elements.
Brainwave Shutdown
Starting with a sparse arrangement, this drives out into a proggy kind of thing after the first vocals. There is a bit of a punk edge to the piece, too. This isn't a kid's song by any means. It does have some Beatles-like elements later along the road.
Two Tickets
This is a strong and quite proggy number. It has some bouncy pop elements, and also manages to rock out quite a bit.
P.S.
A trippy and twisted musical texture is at the heart of this song. This is decidedly prog-based. It also has hints of dark things like Alice Cooper. As strange as this is, it's one of the highlights of the set.
Love
Another that's decidedly progressive rock based, this has a soaring, space rock kind of vibe built into it. It has some Beatles-like elements, too.
Tenderness
A bit more of a pop rocker, there are still some proggy elements to this cut. It's a good tune, but a bit of an 'also ran."
Old Piano
As you might guess, this is built around piano. There are other elements in the mix, though. This has a dreamy proggy atmosphere to it. I like the slow moving and expressive guitar solo on the tune.
In a Memory
Alternative pop prog is on display here. This is a cool tune that has some nice melodies built into it.
No More
Piano opens this with a compelling melody. This tune is the clunker of the set. It's got a decent arrangement, but it's awkward and too raw to really work.
 
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