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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Brown Eyed Blue

The City on the Hill (digital single)

Review by Gary Hill

While both songs I've reviewed from this act for this issue are dynamic, I'd say this is the further reaching of the two. It also has some of the meatiest, harder rocking parts of them. Both songs are cool, though. That said, other than the rap at the end (I'm a hard sell on putting rap music into prog, even though I do like a lot of rap), I think I might prefer this tune to the other one. It definitely has some particularly potent moments. As whole songs, though, it's a bit of a toss-up in terms of my preferences.

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Track by Track Review
The City on the Hill
Acoustic guitar brings this piece into existence. As some organ rises up, there is a great retro texture to the tune. The vocals come in over the top of this arrangement. It begins to evolve from there with more of a prog texture taking control. I love the cool timing and sea of vocals as it approaches the two-minute mark. That movement drops away and a new harder-edged jam emerges tentatively and begins growing outward. This is a powerhouse prog jam as the vocals enter and it really kicks into gear. It's not quite metallic prog, but it's definitely hard rocking. The song keeps shifting and changing. There are more melodic moments, parts where the vocals really dominate and more. The killer section around the seven-and-a-half-minute mark is dramatic, inventive and so cool. As it shifts toward a more melodic movement from there we get a rap over the top, lending an unusual angle. After the rap drops away, it works sans voice for a short time before ending.
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