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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Twelve Days in June


Review by Gary Hill

The moniker "Twelve Days in June" is a pseudonym for singer-songwriter Dave Hulegaard. Here he's given us an intriguing album that is a little bit of a mixed bag. There are some great tunes here, and nothing is really weak on its own merits. That said, the vocal delivery and quite a few of the songs seems nearly identical, making it a bit repetitive. Then again, how many people listen to whole albums start to finish these days? If you are only coming on board for a song or two, it would never be an issue.

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Track by Track Review
A driving acoustic guitar sound starts things off here. The arrangement fills in from there. The vocals come over the that, creating a particularly effective sonic picture. There are some definite folk prog angles brought by the symphonic instrumentation over the top.
The Lighthouse
I dig the musical concept here, but as soon as the lyrics talk about "big pharma," the tune loses any sense of credibility from a lyrical point of view for me. With or without the lyrics, though, this is a tasty folk-based groove with some alternative rock angles on the vocals. I'm also not really sold on those vocals. They feel a bit too detached and monotonous. Still, there are some soaring moments on the tune.
As You Were
More energetic, this cut has more of an alternative rock groove to it. The vocals again suffer a little from the monolithic approach, but it's an improvement over the previous tune. As the arrangement fills out further down the road, it definitely takes on a definite prog-rock-like vibe.
Silver Stars
Starting mellower and rather ballad-like, this gets more rocking and somewhat proggy later. The tune has a lot of roots music built into it, though. Again, the vocals are pretty much the same as on all the rest here.
Hoped You Couldn't Tell
There is more of a direct rocking vibe here. This has some solid hooks and a real pop rock vitality. It also has a big change in the vocals. All those things work to make this one of the highlights of the disc. It's a fun and effective number.
Fables (feat. Katherine Christie Evans)
The vocals turn more samey again. The addition of the female vocals goes a long way to redeeming it, though. The energetic acoustic guitar approach works well, too. I like this one a lot. It's another highlight of the set.
The Sun Sets Over Orchards, Washington
We get another standout here. Alternative rock, folk music, soaring artsy sounds and more merge here. The vocals are not tied to the same concepts as they are on so much of this disc. All those things work together with a great song structure to make this a real highlight. The violin brings some serious magic to this at times.
More of a driving folk rocker, this is reasonably effective. The vocals are more varied here, but also don't work as well for me. I like the variety this brings, but the song is not one of my favorites.
The Perfect Life
The strings bring some magic to this tune. The vocals are back in their monolithic mode, but we've had enough of a break by now that it's not an issue.
Sunburn (feat. Katherine Christie Evans)
The female lead vocals for the first half of this are a great touch. The song has more of the soaring folk meets alternative and prog concept. This is a highlight largely due to the change it represents. It's an evocative and potent piece even without that consideration, though.
Leland (feat. Mei)
Piano starts this number. It works to more of an alternative folk rocker from there. This has varied vocals and is a solid number.
Fifteen Years
Dreamy and lush roots based sounds are at the heart of this. It's a moody piece during the first portion. It turns out to a hard rocking movement later complete with meaty electric guitar soloing. It work more toward an intensified version of the earlier portions from there. This is a real powerhouse tune. It definitely makes for a powerful closing to the album. 
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