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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Ben Lorentzen


Review by Gary Hill

In terms of a question of balance, if the bulk of this album were more like the first couple songs, I’d land this in progressive rock. There is a lot of modern prog here. That said, it also get into more roots music and other things. It’s an entertaining album. There is enough variety to keep it interesting throughout the ride. This isn’t quite like anything you’ve probably heard before, but yet there is enough familiar territory to make you feel at home.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 5 at

Track by Track Review
My American Revolution

Starting dramatic and quite pretty, this builds out into a mellower, proggy cut. It makes me think of both Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree, but with some Americana built into it.

The Ugliest Girl In The World
A bit moodier, this one does earn a parental advisory. It still has that same modern progressive rock element at play. It makes me think more of something like modern Marillion or Porcupine Tree.
Evergreen Tree
More of a folk music kind of vibe makes the basis of this track. It’s mellow and pretty and also rather lush.
Bring Home the Angels
Now, this is interesting. It comes in with more of those mellower, dark modern prog sounds. There is a rocking movement bringing it into different territory, though. I like this song a lot. In fact, it’s one of my favorites of the set.
Heaps of Ashes
This folk song feels quite a bit like Bob Dylan. It even gets some harmonica. I’d say, though, that Lorentzen’s vocals are more to my liking than Dylan’s for sure.
Masters of War
Speaking of Bob Dylan, this is a cover of his song. I like the rocking jam that makes this song work. It’s a killer tune with some bluegrass and stuff in the mix. It’s a highlight of the set for sure.
These Sudden Changes
With a string laden arrangement, this is a folk meets pop rock kind of song. It’s also a strong one.
Iron Bells
This slow moving and intricate folk song is a powerful one. It feels classic and poignant. I like the string arrangement that graces it, but it’s really the song itself that sells it.
Slow moving Americana is the concept of the majority of this moody piece. That said, there’s almost a French café bit on the musical interlude later.
Down Is the Only Way Out
More along the lines of folk rock, the evocative vocal performance really sells this cut.
Jesus, John And I
Starting acapella, once the instruments join this one lands back into the moody modern prog territory. That makes it a great bookend for the disc.
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