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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Russell James

Feel Your Pain

Review by Gary Hill

This is a particularly effective disc. There seems to be a balance between roots music and more modern, dreamy, nearly shoegaze styled stuff. I'm not saying that we get songs of both types, though. These pieces feature those two extremes balanced within. I'd say that the balance falls further along the folk line, though.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2021  Volume 6. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2021.

Track by Track Review
History of Crime
While I can make out hints of country music in the mix, overall this is a driving sort of folk rock song. It's all class. It's also a great way to start the set.
Somewhere in America
While this still fits as folk music, the country (particularly bluegrass) elements are even more pronounced here. This is a fun cut.
The Morning Singer
Now, this turns more toward soaring modern alternative rock, but the folk elements are still woven into the tapestry of this piece. Some of the layers over the top lean toward space rock, though.
The Poet (explicit)
From soaring zones, we're brought back to Earth with a pure folk song, complete with harmonica. This is traditional folk music at its best. As you might guess, this song earns a parental advisory. The lyrics are so powerful.
Tremor of War
This has some dreamy vibes to it. It's more of an alternative rock meets folk piece, with the emphasis on the modern pop end of things. It's another solid song on a consistently strong album.
A Quiet Life
Folk rock is the label that best fits this tune. It has some great energy. The hooks are strong. There are some instrumental fills that bring hints of country music to the table.
Backseat Driver
The backing vocals really bring something special to this. The number has a lot of the same reference points as the last one did.
I’ll Be Your Man
With a more traditional folk music concept, this is evocative and rather dramatic. It feels more intimate than some of the other songs do.
My Hands Are Tied
Classical strings bring some mood and atmosphere to this. The overall layout of the piece is acoustic guitar and vocal, though. This is another classy folk song.
 
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