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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Cranford Hollow


Review by Gary Hill

The mix of sounds here is pretty unique. It has a lot of country built into it. Overall, probably folk is the most frequent visitor in terms of genre. That said, it gets some proggy things at times and has a good chunk of alternative rock built into it. Overall, this is quite classy stuff. It's pretty unique and always works well. Sure, there are better songs and weaker ones, but nothing here is really what I'd call "weak."
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Track by Track Review

The opening of this has a prog rock kind of vibe. The piece grows out with a magic that's still rather proggy. Then it shifts to sort of dreamy folk styled sound. I'd say that it lands somewhere between folk prog and dream pop. I like the gravelly, low register vocals quite a bit. There are some Celtic elements at play on this number. There is some cool tuned percussion at the end of the piece.

Long Shadows
This is quite an intriguing piece of music. The opening section is distinctly country based stuff. It works out to some much more rocking stuff. The balance between the two elements really holds the whole song. Some parts are pure rock. Others are completely country. Yet there are sections that combine the two into one sound.
Bury It Down

"Country folk" would probably be the best description for this music. Yet there is a bit of a rock element to it. Those gravelly vocals really drive this number.


This has more of an alternative rock vibe to it. It's a cool tune, but a bit more generic than the pieces that have come before. That said, this is not, by any means generic. It is however more less unique, and more mainstream. That makes it one of the weaker songs.

And You, Brutus
Now, this is much stronger. It still is a bit more of a mainstream rocker. That said, there is enough roots music and more to make this really intriguing. In fact, it might be my favorite song here. While it's distinctly alternative rock, it's unique. It's also catchy. There are some hints of country music in the mix, too.

A bit slower and more reflective, there is extended soundbite built into the start of this. As it continues onward the piece feels like a blending of some progressive elements with folk, country and more. It's another intriguing piece of soundscape. I like the violin on this quite a bit.

Dark Turns
As much as I liked the violin on the last song, it really drives this one. There is a lot of that folk prog element at play on this number. This is a stunning piece of music. It's one of my favorites here. This instrumental is classy stuff for sure. It has some definite Celtic leanings and makes me think of the band Tempest a bit.
More of a folk alternative rock song, this is fairly sedate. It's a powerful piece of music, though. The violin gets to show off again near the end.  I would have probably switched the position of this song and the last one, though. That one just seems like it would have made a stronger closing tune. Then again, so many people just listen to one song at a time these days, rather than a whole album. So, maybe that's a moot point.


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