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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Jillian Speer

Daggers and Suede

Review by Gary Hill

This set isn’t always completely successful, but it’s always entertaining. There is a lot of variety here, moving from style to style throughout. I would have to say that I like this quite a bit, but there is a song or two that don’t work as well for me. Of course, your mileage may vary.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 4 at

Track by Track Review
Fast Car

Speer opens the set with a cover of the Tracy Chapman classic. I like this version, which has an almost electronic music vibe in some ways. I prefer the original, but this is good. It’s also commendable that she makes it her own.

Daggers & Suede
This is much stronger. It’s got a lot of jazz and even some retro soul stylings. It’s a powerful track that’s extremely effective.

The opening section of this is more on the mellow side of the equation. The cut gets more rocking sound as it continues, though. There are some electronic elements later, too. This also definitely has some things that make me think of old school soul music.

Dum Dum Dai

With a lot of the lyrics in another language, this gets a parental advisory, too. It’s high energy and very experimental. This is quite artsy. It’s not quite my cup of tea, but it has some things that work really well. It’s definitely the most interesting and “different” thing here. The guitar in particular is cool on this number.


Here is a rocking number. It has sort of a bluesy edge. It’s another that’s rather artsy. This thing is one of my favorites on the set. In some ways it makes me think of Led Zeppelin a little. The vocals are a real selling factor. Given the strength of the music, that says a lot. The slide guitar soloing later is particularly noteworthy. This one is worth the price of admission here all by itself.

Change Is Constantly Changing

Here is another magical piece. Multiple layers of instruments and vocals drive this. It’s more of modern alternative rocker. Still, it has a lot of that blues element in it, as well.

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