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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Dan Politano

Staring With My Eyes Closed

Review by Gary Hill

This EP is strong, if perhaps a bit lacking in terms of unique character. What we get here are five songs that would qualify as singer/songwriter music. Most of it has elements of punk, post punk and emo. Interestingly enough, while the rockers work well, the highlight of the disc is the emotional ballad that closes it. That track by itself would be worth the price of admission, no matter what else was here. Fortunately, though, the rest of the material holds up well, too.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2008  Volume 4 at

Track by Track Review
Light My Soul on Fire
Imagine taking an emo sound and mixing it with Elvis Costello’s catchiest sounds. You’ll have a pretty good picture of this track with that vision. It’s a strong opener.
Innocence Arose
This one has less of a punk/emo tone to it. It reminds me a bit of something from Colin Spring and the Band That Murdered Silence. It’s a great slice of alternative rock. It’s catchy and quite potent.
Another Year
This cut seems to merge the two motifs of the last track into one cohesive and catchy arrangement. Some retro keyboards add a nice touch.
Here we get a catchy rocker that seems to blend that pop/rock emo sound with the alternative rock sounds of Cracker.
New Zealand
He drops it back here with a beautiful ballad that is the highlight of the disc. This is a wonderful piece of music that’s both catchy and meaty. It’s worked up in an anthemic way, but otherwise doesn’t alter much.

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