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Craig Maher

Propel

Review by Gary Hill

This is a great CD with a lot of variety to it. It is well immersed in modern rock, yet it also loaded up with a lot of retro sounds. It rocks out, but knows when to drop it back, too. I like the disc a lot and anyone who enjoys old school hard rock will find this pleasing to their ears.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Propel

A real screamer, this has some techno in the mix, but also a little progressive rock and some classic rock, too.

Cosmic Ride

Another hard rocker, this one has a definite retro element to it and feels quite psychedelic. I’d mark it as sharing some territory with some of Lenny Kravitz’ more psychedelic music and even a little like something from Jellyfish or the other 1980’s psychedelia merchants.

Ten Thousand Dreams

Piano leads this out and builds up as a classic rock tinged keyboard dominated ballad for a while. Other instruments join later as the cut continues to evolve. There are some hints of Pink Floyd at times here, but it also calls to mind some of the 1980’s metal ballads. There’s a horn solo in the middle of the number. It drops back down to just keyboards for the extended and quite poignant outro.

Living In the Utopia

This comes in with a punky sort of hard rocking sound. It’s a bit like Velvet Revolver to me. It’s a cool cut. The chorus, though, is more prog like and purely melodic.

Summer

A mellow ballad, this is very classic rock oriented. It’s a good tune with a little bit of country in the mix, too – but just a tiny bit. I can hear hints of Led Zeppelin here, too. The vocal performance is top notch on this one.

Where I Belong

A hard rocker, this is another that calls to mind Led Zeppelin. Great White would also be a good comparison. There’s a killer world music jam mid-track that has a lot of Eastern tinges and feels perhaps more like something from Page and Plant when they recorded under their own last names. This is a killer and one of the highlights of the set.

Open My Eyes

Starting with a smoking retro keyboard sound this really feels like a modernization of old school high energy psychedelic rock. It’s another scorcher. It drops mid track to a mellow interlude and then a fiery guitar solo takes it followed by a tasty keyboard solo section.

War of the Roses
A ballad that is rather epic in feel, this has a lot of 1980’s metal ballad built into it. I am reminded a bit of Bon Jovi. It also has some progressive rock in the mix.
 
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