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Joe Macre

The Dream Is Free

Review by Gary Hill

Joe Macre came to fame as the bass player for Crack The Sky. I previously reviewed another of his solo albums and landed that one under progressive rock, in part because of that connection. I'd say this one fits pretty well under prog even without that angle. The sound here is unusual, but very much on the prog end of the spectrum. As you might imagine, there is some exceptional bass playing on this set.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 6. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
The Dream Is Free
This launches straight in with some cool melodic prog jamming. The track evolves and grows from there. There are some Beatles-esque angles to this, as well.
Tell Me
Drums lead this number off, and the bass joins in a cool staccato pattern. The arrangement congeals into a more rocking motif that seems to merge Rush and Yes. It drops to a rhythm section driven movement for the first vocals, but it builds back outward from there as it continues.
Ride Or Die
This almost feels like it takes elements from both of the previous cuts and adds some jazzy things and even some power-pop to the mix.
Drop Me Off At The Rainbow
There is a short bit of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" at the beginning of this. The cut is another melodic rocker that has prog and other concepts at play.
Life In The Theater
I absolutely love the guitar and bass interplay on this song. There is a dreamy vibe here to some degree. It's a cool proggy groove overall. There are some points where the vocals feels a bit processed on this. I'm not a fan of that kind of thing, so it takes a little away from the experience for me.
These Cool Years (Graduation)
Not a big change, this does have some killer instrumental work built into it. This is another classy piece of mainstream prog.
Not Looking Back Tonight
I absolutely love the bass work that brings this track into being. The cut works out with style from there.
Tomorrow Is Today
I dig the dreamy sort of vibe to this. The bass work is awesome. The whole tune works well.
Get Up, Crack Down
The guitar that starts this has a funky angle to it. The bass absolutely wails. This is more of a glam rock piece without a lot of prog in the mix. That bass just drives in killer jamming throughout much of the tune.
The Dark Sky Sea
More along the lines of the rest of the music here, the bass work is again a real selling piont on this song.
 
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