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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Kelly Padrick

Dear Love

Review by Gary Hill

Although Kelly Padrick is originally from Rhode Island, she’s relocated to New York City. She’s released several albums over the years and this is her latest recording. The music here has a decent range but there are certain elements that seem to remain constant. For one thing, Padrick’s voice is ever-present and often angelic. The musical tones here are more or less atmospheric and ethereal, but there is definitely a range of sound within that. Everything here is fairly accessible, even though sometimes rather left of center.

This is quite an entertaining set. It never feels tired or repetitive. The sounds are almost always modern, but have a real classic sort of vibe to this. This is dreamy, trippy music that works quite well. It seems that the disc would appeal to a wide range of listeners. There is really a mainstream vibe to this in a lot of ways. Padrick shows that she can write great songs, sing well and just create strong music. She also demonstrates an ability to make each piece of music unique. That’s becoming a more and more rare commodity these days.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 1 at

Track by Track Review
Dear Love

Padrick opens the disc with the title track. It’s a diverse ride all by itself. It starts off playful and fun and quite gentle. It eventually grows out into a lush and powerful piece of music.

There’s a real musical theater vibe to “Unknown.” It starts off quite symphonic and powerful. Then after, a while in that sound it shifts to a more rock oriented texture. It’s got some great multiple layered vocals and the arrangement is quite strong. As good as the opener was, this is even stronger. The piece is one of two that Padrick wrote about the death of her Father.
Heavenly Ride
With “Heavenly Ride” it seems that the listener is transported to 1967. The hard-edged, fuzz-laden guitar sound that opens the piece is cut from real vintage psychedelic cloth. The organ adds to that effect and the guitar solos have even more of that edge to it. The hooks and entire song structure seems to create and maintain that kind of retro element. It’s a great cut and a bit of a surprise. It’s definitely a standout number.
There Will Be Light
This is another piece that has some contrast and diversity built into it. There are parts of the cut that have a real playful electronic vibe to it. Some sections, though, are more lushly arranged with a real progressive rock element at play.

Here is a magical piece of music. It’s got a real fuzz-driven, distorted kind of sound. That said, it’s slow moving and very much like a dream pop kind of arrangement. It’s one of the highlights of the album.

Where the Moon

“Where the Moon” is another slow, dreamy tune. It’s got a great tone and some real charm. It’s another highlight of the set.

Taking Over

This is a bit more rock oriented. It’s got some psychedelic pop rock elements and is also related to that dream pop kind of sound.

Ever Since

This one is a lot more stripped down. It’s got a real trippy sound that is quite ethereal. There is some backwards tracked sound in the mix and it’s really quite an impressive piece of music. It’s pretty. The backwards tracking fits with the lyrical content of the song which refers to “backwards but beautiful.”

And Now It’s Winter

The closing piece is “And Now It’s Winter.” It’s arguably the most impressive piece here. It’s quite symphonic in a lot of ways. It really grows and becomes quite a powerful number. It’s certainly related to progressive rock in a lot of ways. This piece was also written about the death of Padrick’s Father. That makes it fitting that it’s one of the most potent pieces here.

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