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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

The Mangoes

Pale Blue Dot

Review by Gary Hill

I previously reviewed another set from this act. I put that one under prog, despite the band being considered more pop music. I made the same decision this time around. Sure, not everything here is prog. In fact, other than the opening instrumental, nothing is fully prog. Everything has some progressive rock in it, though. Whatever you call this, though, it's a dynamic and effective release with some great music on it.

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Track by Track Review
Suspended in a Sunbeam
This short keyboard introduction is packed full of progressive rock magic.
Pale Blue Dot
A dramatic symphonic introduction gives way to a folk rock vibe that is so melodic and beautiful. After the first chorus it powers up to a vaguely proggy, bouncing pop rock concept to continue.
There is a mysterious proggy concept at display on this song. There are psychedelic, dreamy elements, too. This is classy stuff. I love the soaring keyboard movement later, too.
When the Sky Fell Down
I dig the powered up pop rock vibe on this. While the tune is less proggy than some of the others, there are still some hints of that concept. This also has both psychedelia and jazz in the mix.
Finding the Light
I love the intricate guitar work on this piece. At its core, it's essentially a folk rock number, with less of the rock end of things. There are proggy elements at play, though. This is a short number.
The intricate guitar that opens this feels related to the previous tune. As it turns to a bouncy kind of arrangement for the entrance of the vocals, I'm reminded of both Supertramp and Jellyfish. This is so cool. It's definitely a pop rocker, with some definite blues rock aspects. It's also very effective. The rocking guitar based section later has some seriously classic textures to it.
Pale Blue Dot (Reprise)
A mellow and melodic revisit to the previous piece, this is dramatic, evocative and beautiful.      
Free as a Bird
A Beatles song that started as  John Lennon demo finished by the Beatles, this version has a dramatic introduction before working out into the song proper. While I have heard the original, I'm not overly familiar with it. That said, this sounds very much like I remember The Beatles version sounding. There is a proggy, soaring element at play on parts of this. A cool little excursion into psychedelia at the end, complete with sitar and backwards tracking, is a nice touch.
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