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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Scott Chasolen

Living in Limbo

Review by Gary Hill

In terms of music that generally lands under singer/songwriter headings, you probably won't find many releases stronger than this one in recent history. The music here has a nice range of textures and influence. It's mostly acoustic in nature, but there are some electric moments. The main focus is on piano and acoustic guitar accompanying vocals, but the particular instrument that is most prominent varies from song to song. Additionally, the arrangements are often filled out beyond that. This leans toward progressive rock at times. At other points it is more folk or jazz based. All in all, this is a very effective set.

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Track by Track Review
Acoustic guitar chording is on display at the start of this number. It works forward from there. This cut has an acoustic rock vibe to it. It's a charming number that works well. There is a bit of a piano solo on the piece, too.
Don't Know How
Piano is the driving force on this tune. I like this better than the original. It has more of an evocative delivery and some great energy. It's a classic piano and voice number that feels like it could have been released in the 1970s.
We're back to acoustic guitar for this piece of music. There are hints of jazzy texture here. It's an intimate and quite pretty song. It's very gentle.
I love the piano melodies that begin this. The cut becomes a somewhat jazzy number. The focus is just piano and voice early, but guitar enters after a time. It works out to one of the most complex and driving arrangements of the whole set. It's so powerful.
Springtime In The City
Nearly the first minute of this cut is a piano solo. Vocals join as it shifts to a more "song" type piano arrangement.
Northern Lights
Strummed acoustic guitar brings this into being. It works out from to a cool song structure. Some keyboards late bring a different angle to the tune. It's another with jazz leanings.
Only You
Piano and voice make up this piece. This is another that feels quite jazzy in its arrangement.
We Will Fly
A guitar based piece, this has an alternative vibe to it in some ways. It's a classy number that's more energized than some of the rest.
This is much more of a rocker. It's all on acoustic instrumentation, but the sound is more driving. The arrangement is fuller. This is one of the highlights of the set and has a definite prog element to it in some ways.
A pretty piano melody starts things here. Some classical strings add some emotion and power to the piece. This is another with some progressive rock elements at play.
Acoustic guitar is at the heart of this as it starts. The track works out with a folk kind of vibe. This cut is pretty and gentle in the early sections. It gets more powered up and lush as it continues, with a real progressive rock vibe coming in later.
Pretty piano brings this into being tentatively. The vocals come in over the top, and the cut grows out from there. The tune has a real jazz vibe in terms of the progression. Remaining strictly piano and voice, this is an intimate and classy way to end the set.
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