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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Cody Lee

Woodpecker Crisis

Review by Gary Hill

While Cody Lee might be a new name for me (and perhaps you), he's a veteran musician whose pedigree goes all the way back to playing bass in Peter Green's band. With this collection of songs he's created an intriguing set. While everything here is effective, I'd say that the second half of the disc is the strongest. The music here is all centered around a singer-songwriter sort of style, but there is definitely plenty of range here. The range goes from funk to jazzy zones, country music, rawer hard rock and more. Yet it all seems to fit together.

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Track by Track Review
New Normal
Funky dance music concepts drive this as it comes out of the gate. Some of the percussion leans toward Latin. Mostly spoken vocals come in over the top. As it gets into the chorus it's more sung. There is an alternative rock edge to this, but overall it's more of a funky soulful cut.
More of a reflective guitar sound brings this number into being. The cut has more of a folk music edge to it as it builds outward. This has plenty of roots music along with alternative texture molded into it.
I dig the cool roots rock meets country edge to this number. There is a real down-home angle to this. Yet there is still a little raw rock on display.
More purely alternative rock based, but with a real singer-songwriter concept to it. This is one of the highlights of the disc. It is understated in terms of the arrangement, but packed full of emotion and style.
This is another cut that lands more fully in the alternative rock zone. It earns a definite parental advisory for the lyrics, too. This is another highlight of the set. There is a real hard-edged texture to this, yet it also lands pretty firmly under the singer-songwriter label.
Be Tonight
I love the cool exotic guitar soloing later in this piece. The whole track just oozes class and charm. There is a real psychedelic edge to this.
More of a balladic singer-songwriter tune, I'm reminded of Bruce Springsteen a little on this number. The guitar solo brings a definite country music angle to bear.
There is a driving rocking sound to this that has some hints of country music. A noisy guitar plays in the background throughout. If the last tune called to mind Springsteen, this one makes me think of Tom Petty. There is a bit of a raw punky energy to this tune that works well. The guitar solo section has a fiery rock angle to it.
There is some killer bass work bringing an intriguing groove to this cut. The whole number has a bit of a bluesy, soulful, almost jazz-like texture. This is so classy. It's one of the highlights of the set, making it a great choice for closer. Of course, the title helps in that regard, too.
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