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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Thin Lear

Wooden Cave

Review by Gary Hill

Thin Lear is the brainchild and project of Matt Longo. This release has some exceptional music with a decent range, sometimes within each song. There is a real artsy, dreamy quality to much of this. It touches on musical styles ranging from Americana to progressive rock and jazz. It is always compelling and effective.

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Track by Track Review
This slow-moving, mellow cut has a real artsy Americana vibe to it. It's classy stuff. It eventually builds upward to more of a mainstream classic rock texture. There is a gloomy, trippy, dreamy texture to the piece.
Wooden Cave
The general concept isn't all that different here. This is dreamy, artsy music with a lot of classic rock texture in it.
A Simple Phrase
Vocals with piano as the backdrop is the concept as this song gets underway. Eventually other instrumentation joins, bringing an almost symphonic element to bear. This has some slow moving jazz at its core. It's a nice change and a particularly classy piece of music.
The Guesthouse
The opening movement on this leans toward progressive rock. As the vocals join and the cut shifts a little it becomes more mainstream rock oriented. That said, there is a full on prog rock guitar based section as a bridge later. There is a jazz-based break later and this tune is really such a cool one. It's very artistic and very effective.
Death in a Field
Mainstream rock along with artsy concepts and even some hints of country make up this energized, but dreamy little number.
I Thought I Was Alone
A mellower tune, this has a great dreamy, moody concept.
Up-tempo and energetic, this is a fun pop-rock styled number. I'm reminded a little of Oasis on this cut. However you label it, though, it's a highlight of the set. The saxophone break at the end is tastefully crazed.
Different Tune
There is a real classic rock vibe to this. It really feels like it could have come out in the 1970s. I'd say that it would have probably been all over the radio in that era, too. This is another highlight.
Behold You Now
A bouncy rocker, this is another classy tune. I dig the mellower break and its shift toward proggy zones. For some reason this makes me think of the band Jellyfish to some degree.
'93 Heap
A mellower cut, this has a lot of country built into it. In fact, the fiddle on the tune really brings a down-home country vibe. This turns very artsy as it continues. It really becomes quite beautiful.
Your Family
This is a mellow, but energetic, tune that brings a nice sense of grounding to the closing position. It has a real modern angle on classic rock.


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