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Keith Curtis

Happiness is Hard

Review by Gary Hill

This is a three-song EP that is of the mellower, roots music based variety. If this set were a sandwich, the bread would be premium quality, while the contents would be a tasty, yet lower quality. The thing is, the first and last tracks are so strong that even though the middle one is weaker, it still has plenty of charm.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 4. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
Taking Off And Landing
I love the intricate acoustic guitar melodies that serve as the backdrop on this number. The vocals are fitting with a classic folk music element. This feels very much like the kind of folk music that was being created in the 1970s. There are some intriguing layers of instrumentation over the top as augmentation. The whole piece is just classic and classy. Female backing vocals late are a nice touch.
Real Good Love
This is much more of an acoustic country tune. I love the guitar fills on the piece. There is a little bit of blues here, and some hints of a punk, DIY approach in some ways. While this has its charms, it's not nearly as successful as the opener was. There are some edges that feel a bit awkward to me. It does get into some tastefully rocking zones later along its run, and that section is more effective.
Calculate
We're back in stronger zones on this tasty piece of roots based music. It's gentle, moody and dramatic. There is plenty of country and folk music here. It works so well. If is a strong closer.
 
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