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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Building


Review by Gary Hill

This may or may not fit under progressive rock, but I've put it there. If it does fit, it's not because of its resemblance to the classic prog of the 1970s. There really are no links to that sound. This ties closer to the moody modern prog of more recent times. The thing is, a few songs are pretty much prog-free, landing closer to roots and folk territory. Whatever you call this, though, this is a largely understated and entertaining set. I do have to say one thing about the liner notes. It might have seemed a clever idea to use white shiny ink on a white background, but it renders it more or less illegible for me. It just looks like blank pages. If you tilt it right, you can see the words, but that's just too much work to me - particularly because seeing them and reading them are two different things. I'm sure it was meant to be artsy, but sometimes artsy is the bridge too far. I'd say that this is one such case.

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Track by Track Review
This comes in intricate and sedate. It gradually works forward with trippy electronics coming over the top of it. This is glacial in terms of the pace of its development. The mode holds it for about the first three minutes. Then more of a folk music element, understated and a bit sparse, joins along with the vocals. It's quite artsy, but also roots based.
All Things New
This comes in with a sound that is still balladic and folk-like, but still has more meat to it than the opener did. Artsy music, roots elements and a dreamy kind of modern prog all seem to merge on this piece. This has a great vibe to it.
Much more of a pure folk song, this has an alternative edge to the vocals. It is slow moving, understated and rather pretty.
Now, this is trippy and much more set in modern prog zones. It still has the folk, roots angle to it, though. It starts mellower and works into more powerful stuff as it continues. One of the most dynamic cuts, this even builds out to sort of a droning modern prog sounding thing later.
Life Half Lived
There are some particularly lush moments later in this number. It has a lot of the usual suspects in terms of sound here, too. That said, this might be my favorite piece of the set. It has some of the best hooks and some real emotional power to it.
When I Think Of You
There is a noisy kind of artsy element to a lot of this number. This is another of the more dynamic pieces. It has a cool weirdness to it. Classical instrumentation does a nice job of filling out the arrangement. This is quite an effective number. It's one of the standouts here.
Never Understand
This is another number that's more pure folk or roots music based. It has a sad feeling to it that fits the melancholy lyrics.
Never Was Alone
While this isn't a huge change from the previous song at first, piano and other elements bring some proggy sounds. Later in the number, it powers up with classical strings and some electric guitar to really bring it upward.
Peace's Eternal Truth Renews All
Mellow textures bring this piece into being, marking a fairly stark contrast to the previous piece. The cut grows out in rather folk music turned a bit proggy ways from there. It gets quite lush for a time, but drops back to the origins to end.
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