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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Pavlov's Dog

Prodigal Dreamer

Review by Gary Hill

This new album from Pavlov's Dog comes about eight years after the last one. This is most often folk prog, but there are other genre represented here and there throughout. If you like bands like Procol Harum and The Strawbs you should definitely give this a try (assuming you've not heard these guys before). Their sound lands somewhere in the vicinity of those acts. That said, this is also unique. Also, given how British this act sounds, it's hard to believe that they hail from Saint Louis, Missouri, but they do.

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Track by Track Review

Piano and classical music instrumentation opens this cut. The vocals come in over the top in a decidedly British way. The cut is more classical than the comparison would convey, but in some ways this feels like a cross between David Bowie and The Strawbs. It has a good balance between mellower and more powered up sections. Some of the lyrics on this reference "Peter Pan." The female vocals later and other elements really add to the mix.

Hard Times
Much more of a traditional progressive rock structure is at the heart of this cut. That said, there is plenty of jazz also built into this killer number.
More of a folk music inspired sound is at the heart of this piece. The Strawbs is a valid reference point here. As this powers up further down the road, I really love the violin that drives the melodic elements of the piece.
Thrill of It All
As this powers into being there are some definite reggae elements at its heart. The cut works forward from there as sort of a hybrid of reggae and folk prog. There is a powerhouse jam that makes up the later half of the tune.
Easter Day
The vocals at the start of this track are more traditional ones. The cut has leanings toward country music, along with the folk prog stylings. This is so powerful, feeling a lot like something that would have been on the radio in the early 1970s.
Hurting Kind
There are still country rock elements at play here. Beyond that this is more of the folk prog that we've heard throughout. This song is evocative and powerful. In  fact, it's one of the highlights of the set.
A rather martial drum beat with symphonic instruments over the top opens this. It moves out from there to a Celtic folk prog styled arrangement for the entrance of the vocals. This cut evolves organically from there, becoming another potent folk prog cut. The drum returns at the end by itself.
I like the energetic folk prog sound of this number. It's more upbeat. There is some great violin dancing around the arrangement. This tune has some potent music in the mix overall, too.
A dramatic number, this makes me think of Mott the Hoople a bit. It's a balladic cut, but a powerful one at that. I dig the guitar solo on this quite a bit.
Crying Forever
A bluesy rocker, this features female vocals. This isn't really a proggy tune, but is both a solid bit of a variety and a lot of fun.
Being in Love
We're back into the expected folk prog stuff. This has some psychedelia and more in the mix. It's a solid tune, but a bit samey.
Shaking Me Down
This has a real folk rock style to it. Sure, it's given a bit of a prog edge, but overall it's more like something Bob Dylan might have done. The organ lends to the retro texture.
The Winds Wild Early
I dig the cool dreamy rocking sound of this cut. As this grows outward near the end there are some killer bass sounds. The whole song builds well and serves as a great closer.
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