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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Jarel Portman


Review by Gary Hill

This is quite a cool set. It has some moments that are down- right exceptional. Even the cuts that fall a bit short of that are still pretty darned good. If there is a complaint to be made it's the sequencing of the track. It seems like the first half is hard rock laden, while the later portion leans on mellower stuff. I think that it would flow better if the mellower cuts had been spread out a bit more across the disc. Either way, though, this is a strong collection of solid songs.

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Track by Track Review
Firing in with a cool techno meets space rock kind of vibe, this is cool tune. It has a good energy to it. It's driving and quite effective.
Runaway Blues
As cool as the opener was, this is even better. There is a lot of modern prog rock built into this. Yet it has hints of heavy metal and definite elements of things like The Cure.
This is a cool rocking groove this is a real stomper. It's part old school blues rocker and part King's X. Through a little funk in there and you have the full picture. This has a lot of energy and grit. It's also catchy.
More of a balladic rocker, this is classy stuff. It is both modern in texture and grounded in classic textures. This is another that has some hints of prog rock in the mix.
Make It OK
A more melodic number, this has a lot of psychedelia built into it. It can make out hints of the Beatles along with some prog rock tendencies and more modern sounds. I like this one a lot. In fact, it's one of my favorites here. It's just so cool.
Over and Over (Hey Oh, Hey Oh)

There is definitely some reggae built into this. There is also some gospel and some soul. This is a classy tune, but not as much in my style. Still, the cooperation of male and female vocals along with catchy hooks make it work pretty well.

I love the bass work on this cut. The tune seems like a cross between fusion and something like Peter Gabriel. It's a cool change and one of the highlights here.
The Architect (It’s All About Love)
Here we get a balladic tune that has a lot of soulful classic rock sound built into it.
Another slower, mellower cut, this one has a lot of psychedelia in the mix. I like the whole arrangement, but the guitar sound is really one of my favorite parts of the tune.
People Like You
This is perhaps the most modern sounding thing here. It has a real alternative based pop rock sound. This is a catchy cut that has "single" written all over it. There are some hints of country music in this number.
There is a trippy kind of sound to this cut. The tune has some psychedelia merged with more alternative rock elements. It's a classy cut.
Wind Is Blowing
Another with a healthy helping of psychedelia in the mix, this is a tune that has some space rock in there, as well.
Right Way
This rocker has a lot more energy. There is plenty of blues rock built into it. I can make out some funk, too. There are even some things here that feel like the punky side of Hawkwind to me.
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