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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Chris Beland

What I Believe

Review by Gary Hill

This album is quite entertaining and intriguing. If there is one complaint, it's that at times it seems to be all over the place in terms of styles. That said, I'm not sure that's a complaint or actually a strength. I will say that to some degree, the songs that are most like one another seem to run together. It might actually have made for a stronger album as a whole if they had been divided up more. Still, a lot of people just listen to a song or two at a time these days, so that might be a rather moot point. Either way, this is all well-written and performed.

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Track by Track Review
Where Is Georgia
The rhythm section starts the cut. An energetic rocking jam takes over from there. The cut resembles a country-leaning pop rocker as the whole band join. This is catchy and a lot of fun. There is a dropped back section in the midst of the song. I really love some of the melodic guitar fills later. This song is so classic in sound and just plain fun.
What I Believe
A bit meatier and harder rocking, there are still some Southern rock leanings on the title track. This has quite a bit of blues rock edge to it, as well. While not quite as accessible as the opener, this is very strong. It also has some minor punk vibes at play. A dropped down section later gives way to a false ending. The cut comes back in with more energy and intensity from there.
Feel Like Cryin’
An acoustic based number, this is more melodic. I wouldn't exactly call this a ballad, but it is much mellower. There are definitely some prog-like vibes here. The country thing seems pretty much completely gone on this number, which is more of an alternative rock piece. This is also a highlight of the set for me.
This is more along the lines of the last track. It's a bit more involved and dramatic. There is a duet on the piece. The proggy concepts are definitely firmly in place here. This is so evocative and powerful. It might be my favorite tune here. It just works so well. There are a couple drops to symphonic instrumentation later in the number.
Power-pop and Beatles-like pop rock merge on this bouncy little number. It's a lot of fun. I'm reminded quite a bit of the band Jellyfish on this tune.
I Don’t Think It’s a Sign
More of an alternative rocker, this is energetic and entertaining. It really rocks.
This has a stripped back arrangement. It's alternative rock based and quite artsy. There are some jazzy guitar parts, and the whole tune really rocks well. The cut gets more involved and the female vocals return later.
Stare at the Walls
A singer-songwriter meets folk-rock kind of tune, this is a nice change, and solid. I wouldn't consider it a standout, though.
Colson Canyon
The country angles return on this folk based number. This is a classy slice of sound.
Family Tree
A mainstream melodic rocker with some alternative and folk rock leanings built into it, this is another capable tune that doesn't quite reach to the highlight zone. Than again, by definition not every song can be a highlight or standout. This does get pretty potent in a jam band kind of way.
Miles Between
There is a bouncy sort of singer-songwriter vibe on this tune. It's classic in sound and so much fun. This is a highlight of the disc. It's intimate, but also magical. There are some jazzy angles to this cut.
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