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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


Lingua Franca

Review by Gary Hill

This album could land in the territory of electronic music. It seems a bit too organic for that, though. It really is progressive music, but perhaps not progressive rock. There is a lot of world music here. The only vocals are some world vocals that appear on the first track, more as instrumentation than actual singing. Whatever you call this, though, it is some particularly effective instrumental music. This is not the kind of thing that should be confined to the background. Let this album live and breathe and be heard.
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 2 at
Track by Track Review

A chirping keyboard opens this. The cut grows out from there with a classy kind of electronic arrangement. Some acoustic guitar joins to complement the arrangement. This works out to a cool modern prog kind of arrangement. There are some world music vocals that come across here and there. Otherwise, though, this is an instrumental. It's dramatic and intriguing. There is some great acoustic guitar soloing later in the piece.

The Sun and a Dusty Road

Much more energized, this has some prominent percussive elements. It's more of a blend of a fast paced prog instrumental sound and electronic beat music. It's different for sure. It's a bit odd, but somehow compelling at the same time. I like this a lot.

Gliding Bird
Acoustic guitar starts this one in a delicate but energized arrangement. The track builds out gradually from there. This has much more of a folk prog element at its heart. This is an especially pretty cut. It works to some electronic space mid-track. Then it comes back in reborn with some world music added to its frame. It gets quite intricate and involved as it continues to glide forward. It bookends with the mellow folk prog giving way to acoustic guitar to bring it to a close.
Sol Poniente
World music provides the backdrop at the start of this and violin solos over the top of it. That builds to a climax, and the song drops to a mellower, more electronic element to continue. The violin returns later, and the cut soars into more folk prog-like territory as it works its way forward.
I really love the bits of acoustic guitar soloing on this piece. There is more of an electronic, world sound tapestry as a backdrop. This reminds me of Mike Oldfield at times. It has an almost fusion groove in terms of the rhythm section in certain ways. 
Acoustic guitar begins this. Other layers come in very slowly, with a bit of electronic atmosphere serving as the only accompaniment for a time. Then it bursts to more energized music to work into the next section of the piece. The number is a bit more straight-line than some of the others. It includes some solid acoustic guitar soloing.
Two Sides

Keyboards start this in a style that makes it feel like it's about to launch out into some blistering progressive rock. Instead it works to more pure electronic music as it continues. This almost makes me think of a merging of Kraftwerk and Vangelis. It has plenty of energy. This is not bad, and does lend some variety, but of all the music here, I think I like this track the least.

Boat on the River
Piano focuses much of the introduction to this. As the acoustic guitar joins we're in more of a folk prog kind of territory. The cut grows out from there in style. There are some classy melodies built into this piece.
Piano begins this piece, slowly, tentatively, feeling quite classical. Eventually some electronic elements emerge over the top of it.  There are some almost jazzy things that are heard over the top later. This is one of the more dynamic pieces. It has a lot of varying sections and elements. It feels very powerful and passionate at times.
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