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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Atlas B. Salvesen

Smoke Signals

Review by Larry Toering

Atlas B. Salvesen is an American folk artist who resides in Sydney Australia, and this is his debut EP, and a fine entry it is into his musical journey. I can see this great singer/songwriter go a long way, and hope he does. It contains everything from the obvious folk influences to pop and even some gospel stylings. All in all, this is a great disc with a lot going for it, and precision playing and all around artistry to back it.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2013  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
When the Camera Starts To See
This is instantly intriguing, as his voice just seems to deliver everything right. It oozes that quality of not needing a tune, it’s that good. He has a very musical voice, and sings in an orthodox manner to the point where there is no turning a deaf ear to him. There is some atmosphere and humor in the mix as well, and it only helps, as it seems to just work so well.
Faith Will Leave You
Slowing down just a tad, this really compels at every turn. Still, it comes from a different world than the previous track, which contrasts perfectly. This is a very deep and very inspiring track.
Fruit Juice
A pop track comes along among the dominating folk vibe felt so far. The songwriting starts to vary a bit because of that, but the perfection remains on this number with a bit more fun to it.
New Moon
If I had to choose a least favorite here, this would be it. It’s not a bad tune or anything, just a bit of a filler with a live audience tape at the beginning and end. Overall it’s a good, but less inspiring tune altogether.
Stage Lights at Angel Place
Like with the opening track, once again there is a recording of a girl’s voice, perhaps from an answering machine or a voice mail recording. This is just fantastic in every department, especially the lyrics. Another killer showing is evidenced here on all instruments, as well. You really can tell just how awesome this artist is in just this one track. He somehow reminds me of singers like James Taylor and  Kenny Loggins and others who aren’t folk singers, but it’s their easy listening qualities that are reminiscent in his approach.  Still, there is an obvious nod to artists like Paul Simon as well, to be fair. It might also be a 70s factor helping that, too.
Smoke Signals Retire

This is a mellow masterpiece of sorts, with an almost gospel vibe to it. More fascinating work is showcased here and that’s all there is to it. This track stands out for that and several other reasons that aren’t easy to put a finger on, and that is the mark of an interesting song for me. It’s a great way to take the set out, as it intrigues me for more music from this artist.

 
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