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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Anne Steele

Made Out Of Stars

Review by Gary Hill

Anyone who knows me well knows that, in general, I'm not a big fan of pop music. I tend to always like the deeper cuts better on albums, the ones that don't get heard as much. When it comes to the pop music of today, that is even more true. Most of the stuff you hear on pop radio is so over-produced and artificially manipulated that it seems to lose all semblance of real music. It's important for me to get all that out there because it's a true testament to the talent and sound on this set when I say that this (despite being very much the kind of music you will hear on modern pop radio) is very good.

This set avoids so much of the over-production of modern pop music. Anne Steele's voice is so strong that she really doesn't need a lot of manipulation to make her sound good. The songs are well written and produced. Those things combine to show that you can work within the genre of modern pop and still produce quality music.

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Track by Track Review
Modern pop music is on the menu here. This has a good energy and vibe to it. It is a bit over-produced, but not nearly as much as a lot of this kind of music is.
This has both more of a soulful groove and more of an electronic music basis. I like this more than I do the opening number. There is just something cool about it. Then again, I'm a big fan of a lot of electronic music, and this comes closer to that end of the spectrum.
Love Somebody
Electronic pop music is the order of business here. I like the vocal arrangement on this number. The energy and vibe is strong, too. I'm not as enthused about this one as I was the previous track, but it's still heads above a lot of modern pop music.
I Miss Those Days
There is an electronic meets symphonic vibe on the opening of this cut. It works out from there to more of a folk styled cut. This has the most organic texture of the disc. It's quite pretty and a real highlight. It's a slow moving cut, but the vocals and whole arrangement bring so much passion and charm to it.
Love Can Take Us There (2019 Nash Overstreet Remix)
Fast paced and energized, we're back into much more electronic territory here. I like the vocal arrangement on this a lot. The cut has a real remix vibe (and a lot more processing), but of course, that makes perfect sense given that it is a remix. This would be a good EDM single. It has a great groove and a lot of fire.
Everybody Wants to Rule the World
Here Steele covers Tears for Fears. It's a nice twist on the number. It brings the familiar melodies and lyrics to life with a new sort of sound. While I definitely prefer the original, this really shows a different side of the cut.
Love Can Take Us There (Acoustic Version)
Here we get an acoustic version of the earlier remixed number. The acoustic guitar has some intricate melodic moments. Steele's voice really shines on this. The number is one of the highlights of the set.
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