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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Nick Black

Deep Blue

Review by Gary Hill

The mix of sounds here is great. It's hard to call this purely modern music. In fact, it would be sorely inaccurate. Sure, there is a lot of modern soulful pop sound in the mix, but this is a lot more old school than that. At the same time, it would be tough to call this retro. All in all, it's a potent set of music that's rooted in old school jazz, soul and blues, while bringing a modern vibe to it all.

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Track by Track Review

There is a lot of jazz in the mix here. It has a soulful vibe. The horn section is classic. So is the rocking guitar. There is some funk in the mix. I also pick up on a bit of a crooner thing in a lot of ways. Yet, all this is combined into something that definitely feels modern.

In a lot of ways the groove on this is much more modern. Yet, there are still plenty of the same reference points as on the last one. The hooks here are especially catchy. This is just a fun song.
Falling In Life
This one has a much more modern texture. Yet, it clearly has a lot of fusion in the mix. It's another high energy, catchy tune. It's also another strong cut.
With a real stripped back arrangement, this is very much an old school jazz meets soul arrangement. It's great stuff and a nice change. At times this actually reminds me quite a bit of Prince. There is an excursion into Pink Floyd like territory with a guitar solo that has a spoken sound-bite thing over the top.
Only One Man
Starting with a mellower section, this works out to some great stuff. It's definitely more in the modern vein, but has plenty of classic sound in the mix. I dig the funk horn section laden part of the piece a lot.
Let’s Be Glad
It's easy to be glad when the music is this good. This is just so much fun. It has plenty of modern pop in the mix, but also includes a lot of classic sound including some gospel and more. What a great tune this is.
The Worst You Can Do
In a lot of ways this is a mellower tune. It has some more powered up stuff. This is probably the most closely aligned to pop music of just about anything here. That said, there are still some seriously classic ties, particularly to jazzy sounds.
Reason To Stay
This one is very much old school. There is so much classic jazz in the mix. It's a real stomping hot tune. For some reason, it makes me think of Stevie Wonder just a bit, too.
Don’t Leave Louise
This ballad is just piano and voice. It's classic, timeless and very evocative. It's also pretty.
All Over Again
Built on a very classy old school sound, this is great music. This is so much classic bluesy music. It has everything in the right place and done with style. This is arguably the best tune here. That makes it a great choice for parting shot.


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