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Progressive Rock CD Reviews


The Ghost of the Muse (vinyl)

Review by Gary Hill

This new vinyl release from Reanimation includes the record (complete with lyric sheet as part of an inner-sleeve) along with a download code. The music on this has a lot of different textures. The sounds range from 80s electronic music to psychedelia, space rock, shoegaze, Beatles-esque things and more. This is quite an intriguing set. My main complaint is that the mix seems a bit muddy and lacks distinct clarity. I think that was probably a conscious choice, but for me it always feels a little distracting in the sort of distance it creates.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at:

Track by Track Review
Side One
Everything is Not a Happy Ending

Some trippy atmospherics lead this into being. As it continues there are hints of some things like The Beatles, but by this point it really hasn't risen up far yet. As the vocals join it really takes on a bit of a psychedelic, space rock vibe. That holds it for the first set of vocals. Then it fires upward into some killer rocking prog. That is alternated with that psychedelic, Beatles type sound as the piece continues.

Tears Do Not Burn
This comes in with a lot more mainstream sound, almost like a folk rock song. There are definitely elements of psychedelia and space rock built into this section, though. It alternates out into something closer to a shoegaze kind of sound. When this cut drops for the vocals, it has an almost 80s vibe to it. It shifts out to some killer hard-edged psychedelic stuff from there, though. There are some things here that make me think of a specific early King Crimson song.
Silently Screaming

Atmospheric elements start this number. It eventually works outward from there. It's a moody cut that has a definite 80s sound at its heart. Further down the road it powers up into a harder rocking jam that again has some of that shoegaze kind of thing at its heart. It drops back to some weird atmospherics with vocals over the top. Then those elements drop away leaving just the voice for the final measures.

Side Two
Without You (Close Your Eyes)

A dense arrangement with Beatles and some 70s rock trappings merging with 80s sounds and more makes up the early sections of this. It shifts out to a harder rocking jam that's more of a soaring space rock leaning type of music. It works through and drops to mellower stuff to continue. The more sedate segment eventually ends the piece.

Plane Crash Smiles
Keyboard textures bring this into being, but some almost world music sounds emerge over the top of that. It builds out to a harder rocking version of those melodies in a killer space rock jam from there. It drops back and is then reborn. This is a fast paced jam that has plenty of hard rock along with space music and more in the mix. This is an energetic and powerful piece that works quite well.
The Point of Collapse
I love the fast paced piano on the early parts of this tune. There are space rock elements in the mix alongside that. Yet, I'm reminded of things like The Buggles, too. The vocals join after a time, and the piece just keeps driving forward with an almost playful 80s music vibe. It shifts toward more of a space rock meets jazz groove further down the road.
Silently Screaming (Reprise)
A trippy kind of return to the earlier song serves as the closer here. It is pretty strange, but also cool.
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