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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Sarah Burton

64 Magic Queens

Review by Gary Hill

On the one hand, there is some range here. On the other, there aren't enough songs that vary things up. Personally, I think this set is a case where less would be more. If maybe three or four songs had been held for a later release, this would be a stronger album. Then again, so many people just listen to a song or two from one artist these days, so maybe that doesn't matter. This has a lot of old time rock and roll, Americana and things like that in the mix. It's also in the alternative rock vein. I think it gets a little too pop oriented at times, but that's just me. All in all, there are some good songs here, but as an album it's not as good as the sum of its parts.

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Track by Track Review
I Hate Goodbyes
There is a bit of a country twang on the vocals. The whole tune has some musical theater vibes, old school rock and roll and even some Blondie built into it. This is bouncy, catchy and a lot of fun.
How To Run
This is more of an alternative rocker. It has classic Americana in the mix along with some punk. Yet there are some catchy hooks. It's an aggressive, yet also mainstream, piece of music.
Ursa Minor
There is a more mature and serious tone to this cut. It combines Americana and alternative rock into something that still has some poppy angles.
Give It All To Me
This is another track that combines Americana and mainstream pop rock into a bouncy and fun number.
Baby Why Are You So Angry
Punky and yet having some country leaning Americana in the mix, this is another accessible tune.
You Say You Want More
This is a slower, mellower tune with a lot of Americana built into it. It definitely earns a parental advisory on the lyrics.
I Thought We Were Having Fun
There is  bit of a quirky angle to a lot of this track. The cut works out to more of pop rocker later. It's fun, but not any kind of standout.
Love Is Not Enough
Feeling a lot like a modern version of a 1950s rock and roll ballad, this is quite entertaining and effective. It has a real classic sound to it, but also a fresh edge. It definitely gets a parental advisory.
Why You Gotta Kill My Dreams
This is another classy rocker with some pop angles. It also has some punky edges. It's not a bad tune by itself, but the formula is starting to wear a bit thin.
Another Mistake
Another solid rocker, this again doesn't manage to really stand out strictly because it's all starting to get pretty monolithic by this point. Taken by itself it's one of the stronger pieces here. It's just swamped by the position of the album and the glut of similar music.
High By The Beach
A slower moving song, the fuzz distortion on this provides enough change to allow it to shine. The track is another that earns a parental advisory. This reminds me of sort of a mix of grunge and modern psychedelia. It's one of the highlights of the set, really. The noisy outro is a great touch, too.
Today is Gonna Be The Day
Another classy rocker, this manages to stand tall despite not being a big change. I think part of this is because it comes after a song that managed to change this a little. Part of it comes from the great vocal hooks, though.
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