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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Joel Madison Blount

Our New Moon

Review by Gary Hill

This disc is full of effective songs. There are a few words that could be used to describe nearly every piece here, including "moody," "atmospheric" and "dreamy." Therein lies the biggest issue. There just isn't enough variety here. The tempo is almost the same throughout. The intensity level is very close from song to song. The vocal delivery and sonic textures are largely unchanged. That means that as a collection of songs it tends to be monolithic. Perhaps that's only so important. I mean, in the modern age it seems a large number of people just listen to a song here and there and don't spin a whole album. In that case this would be exceptional. Taken as a set, though, it's good, but not without the issue of being to formulaic.

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Track by Track Review
Beauty That Remains
Coming in tentatively, this grows out to sort of a dream pop kind of arrangement. Overall it probably lands in the vein of alternative rock, but this is on the mellow, yet soaring, side.
Love Radiates

There is more of an Americana vibe on this rocker. It's more in line with a hard rocking sound and is quite effective.

Arms Open Wide

Punk, grunge and Americana seem to merge on this song. While it's not a big change from the first two tracks, this is somehow stronger.

Hands of Mine

This is more of a balladic cut. It makes me think of something Bruce Springsteen might do, but the vocals don't sound like him.

Struck by the Moon

Dream pop and Radiohead styled alternative rock seem to blend here. This is another solid entry.

Inner Monologue

Another good alternative rocker, this is just a bit too much like the rest of the stuff around here. The formula is starting to run a bit thin by this point.

In the Name of Fear
The dreamy elements on this slow number manage to allow it to shine. It still suffers a bit from the samey sound, but it's only minor here.
Carry Me
While the monolithic nature of the still permeates this number, the balladic approach on this one works well. This is actually one of the stronger tunes here. It's quite evocative.
The Giving
Another slow moving, moody cut, this is good song, but just too much like the rest here. It can't really stand all that tall amidst the competition.
I Want It All
Another that's cut from essentially the same clothes as the rest of the disc, this seems to slow and dreamy to make a good closer. Then when you add in the fact that it's just too samey, it seems like maybe this and "Carry Me" should have been switched in terms of the position on the disc. That would have made a better closer if he wanted to opt for a mellower tune at the end. Personally, I think "Arms Open Wide" would have been about the best choice, rocker that it is.
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