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Tim James with Very Special Guests

The Special Guests

Review by Gary Hill

Based on alternate rock more than anything else, this does lean toward roots music and other things at times. While this doesn't really break any molds, it's well done and varied enough to keep it interesting. This is a solid release from start to finish.

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Track by Track Review
This is a fairly driving and classy rocker with alternative angles along with some hints of roots music. It's a solid opener.
Speak With Me
I really like the acoustic work in the mix here. This is another potent rocker, but it definitely has more of that roots sound, in the form of folk music concepts mainly. That said, the instrumental section takes it toward country music.
Early Days
A slower cut, this has the same kind of mix of rock and roots built into it. It's nothing Earth-shattering in terms of originality, but it works well. I really dig the harder rocking sections later in the piece.
3rd Degree Burns
I like the singer-songwriter meets alternative rock vibe of this one quite a bit. The bass work really stands out on this, but the whole arrangement seems to excel. It gets driving and so powerful later.
Mellower modes start this with something that feels both artsy and folky. While this does grow and become more rocking, it remains more restrained than a lot of the music here. This is also more of an art rock based cut, while still maintaining those roots angles. This is one of my favorites here. Parts of it remind me a little of early Pink Floyd.
House Full of Brothers
This is a pretty standard rocker. The hints of keyboards lend some retro textures to it. While this is not what I'd consider a standout, it does have its charms.
Ping Pong
Just an instrumental piece of artsy ambience, this is short.
Coming in thoughtful and balladic, this builds out gradually. It turns to more rocking sounds before it's over. It's not a standout by any means, but works well enough.
Retro keyboards get things underway here. The song begins to grow from there with a tasty alternative pop rock vibe. It grows into more of a real rocker with a trippy vibe. This is one of my favorites here. There is just something intriguing and creative about it.
One Last Try
Acoustic based and slow moving as it gets underway, this evolves slowly. It has a tasty blues rock vibe to it. The female backing vocals are a nice touch, and I really like the guitar solo a lot, too.
Smoke & Mirrors
I really love the bass work on this song. The track is a pretty basic rocker, but it still has plenty of style and charm.

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