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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Magical Beasts

When Love's a Stranger

Review by Gary Hill

There has been a big movement toward roots music in the last decade or so. I have to wonder if it's a response to the over-production of so much modern pop music. In any event, this EP clearly fits into that movement. There is a lot of folk music, country and bluegrass here, along with a bit of rock. This is quite effective and tastefully eclectic, too.

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Track by Track Review
New York
There is a healthy helping of roots music built into this cut. It's a slow moving, and dreamy kind of thing. It's a classy piece of music. The harmonica lends quite a bit of grounding to it. The vocal arrangement is multilayered and potent.
When Love's a Stranger

The title track has a cool groove that's based in roots music with an alternative edge. I love the backing vocals on the number. The banjo brings something special to it, too. I also like the pedal steel guitar. You have to love a song that includes the word "nomenclature" in its lyrics.

Lady Bird
Bluegrass and folk rock merge on this fun little number.
Someone to Lift the Blue
I like the violin (or should I say "fiddle?") on this tune. The cut has an intriguing vocal element and works really well.
Erin and the Storm
The vocal arrangement on this tune is great. This is probably the most rock music based cut here. Even so, overall it's folk based on roots sounds that drives this.
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