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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Josh Christina


Review by Gary Hill

It's obvious from the start of this set that Josh Christina is heavily influenced by the rock and roll of the 1950s. There are some moments that move more into modern territory, but that leaning is prevalent throughout. The album has a great mix of sounds and textures, and doesn't seem to get tired or redundant. That said, I think it would have been a stronger set if the first three songs were split up amongst the set. That has nothing do with the music on them, but rather the lyrical content. Those three songs are all about love at a distance, and starting the set with them seems to give the impression that it's all we're going to get here. Once you get past, there is a wide variety of lyrical content. For that reason, it might make a lot of sense to move a couple of them to other slots on the disc. All that said, though, a lot of people just listen to music one song at a time these days, so it's more of a minor quibble.

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Track by Track Review
Friend Zone
I dig the retro tinged sound on this tune. It's an energetic cut that has a lot of Jerry Lee Lewis built into it. Yet there is a definite modern edge to this, too.
Counting Sheep

Perhaps more on the country end of the spectrum, this isn't a huge change from the opener. That said, this is a bit slower and mellower and has some gospel music in the mix.

While there is still a healthy amount of country and rockabilly in the mix here, this is probably closer to a soulful Motown like ballad.
Spic and Span
The piano that starts this cut brings back the Jerry Lee Lewis comparisons. The vocals continue that, and this whole cut has a real old school rockabilly vibe.
Rich Man’s Daughter
While still retro tinged, this is much more modern than anything to this point. It's a mid-tempoed tune that has some catchy hooks. This is perhaps closer to a folk rock kind of sound that it is to anything else.
Love is Funny
The keyboard basis for this cut brings a lot of retro soul texture. Yet there is still a definite country edge to it. Other than the voice, keyboards are the only element to this song.
Blasted in the Basement
Bouncy and heavily piano based, the Jerry Lee Lewis reference is all over this rocker. It's very purely rockabilly.
The Good Book
Rock and roll piano brings this into being. It's a bouncy kind of a rockabilly tune. It's a lot of fun.
Jazzy piano leads this track into being. The first lines of vocals (that really call to mind Elvis Presley) come in over the top of just the piano with some percussion. Other elements rise up, but this remains as a mellower cut. It has plenty of retro blues and jazz styles at its heart. It's probably my favorite tune here.
School’s Out
A fun rockabilly number, this feels like it would have been at home on the radio in the 1950s. It's energetic and classy. I dig the piano solo section later in the piece. It really grooves and is quite entertaining.
Rock and Roll Medley
This is a classic old school rock and roll medley. Christina is obviously heavily influenced by this era of music, so it's no shock that he does a great job on this. The tune is so much fun and a great closer. While I'm particularly fond of the Chuck Berry section, everything here is great. The guitar solo is classic, but so is the keyboard work. You definitely can't ignore the singing, either.
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