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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

James Young

Songs They Never Play on the Radio

Review by Gary Hill

First things first, this is not the James Young from Styx. This James Young spent a lot of time playing with Nico of Velvet Undground fame. His music really shows that influence. The sound is sort of a weird kind of post prog most of the time. This is a reissue of an album he released in 1994.
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Track by Track Review
Songs They Never Play on the Radio

Weird and dreamy, this is slow moving and moody.

Breathe for Me
This is kind of trippy sort of prog instrumental.
Down by the Wannsee
Another that's quite weird, but cool, there is a dark kind of prog vibe here. It's electronic and tastefully odd. I love the little bits of female vocals.
The Door
In some ways this is more mainstream. On the other hand, it's oddly unsettilng. It's still trippy and dark. The vocals on this are a bit hard to take.
Burn Away
Speaking of unsettling, this is rather fast paced, but it's also very unsettling. It's like folk meets world music in a freaky kind of prog arrangement. It gets more rocking as it moves forward. It's a droning kind of repetitive thing, but I mean that in a good way. It makes me think of Mask a bit - the band, not the movie. The female vocals are a nice touch.
She's in My Eyes
Starting with a tentative and stripped down arrangement, This is more or less instrumental. It's also very world music like as it grows outward.
Planète Poussière
Electronic and strange, this is like weird modern prog take on beat poetry in some ways. In some ways this makes me think of the Doors just a bit, too. What's confusing, though is that this is track seven on the disc, so, I'm going with that title, but the lyrics talk about "When the Cigarette Ends," so I think the labels are wrong.
The Cigarette Ends
This has a lot of jazz in the mix. It's a weird cut, but oddly catchy at the same time. There is a lot more energy to this.
Listen to the Rain
This is much more electronic based. It's oddly familiar, too, though. It is really strangely catchy. The female vocals add a lot to it. The chorus on this one contains the title, so I think this one is right. Perhaps the titles were reversed on the last two songs.
Plastik Exploding Inevitable
The vocals on this are female. They are more like incidental sounds in a lot of ways. Piano is the central instrument here. The music is strange, but oddly compelling. It's a pretty mellow number.

This comes in very mellow. The melodies and quite pretty. The cut has a trippy kind of minimalist electronic vibe to it. I really love the keyboard section that ends this.

Dog (live Berlin)
Piano comes in to create the backdrop at the start of this piece. This is really quite pretty. It remains just piano and voice. Honestly, I think I like this as much as anything else here.
My Funny Valentine (live Berlin)
This is a pretty piano solo.
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