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Jon Tyler Wiley

The Longing

Review by Gary Hill

This is an album with a dual identity. On the one hand, there is a lot of old-school rock sound along with roots music built into its core. Distortion and other elements bring it closer to an alternative, indie rock zone. Whatever the particular chemistry involved, this works well. At times it has a tendency to dish the distortion a little too heavily, beyond that, though, I don't have an quibbles with this.

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Track by Track Review
A bluesy acoustic guitar riff starts the album. The track works to more of a driving hard-edged variant on that concept for the song proper. This has too much distortion on parts of it for my tastes. I mean, I love fuzz, but when you have to check to see if your speakers are connected right, that's not fun. It tempers out to more pleasing levels of distortion at times. This is a screaming hot hard rocker with plenty of blues in the mix.
St, Mary’s River
This feels to me like what you might get if you added an alternative rock angle to a song by Bruce Springsteen along with a little John Cougar Mellencamp. It has a real mainstream rock vibe that works well. There are some intriguing changes, too.
More of a ballad, there are definitely some country music vibes at play here. It also has plenty of alternative rock angles. This is moody, but energetic. It features some slide guitar and retro organ sound.
Just Another Heartbreak Song
I really like this one a lot. It a high energy hard rocker that has some bluesy slide guitar. There are no molds being broken here, but this works really well.
There is an interesting contrast between harder rocking movements and stripped back ones. This has a blues rock meets alternative vibe in place.
There is a healthy helping of organ music bringing a retro vibe to this cut. The track has a mellower groove to it with just that organ and drums making up the instrumental arrangement for quite a while. Even later the guitar is only more of a side instrument here. The vocals suffer from that over distortion later.
Want a Little More
I dig this tune a lot. It has a rather unique arrangement, feeling a little proggy and experimental while also showcasing the main sounds we've heard here. I'd consider this a highlight of the set.
He Knew Me
This is another standout. It's a balladic cut that has plenty of keyboards bringing the alternative rock angle to it. There is a lot of roots music built into the general song structure. The song feels very heartfelt.
Laredo Texas Oil Well Blues
Here we have another slow moving ballad. I love the synthesizer on the tune. The whole track works so well. It's quite evocative. There is some scorching hot guitar work on the screaming hot powered up instrumental section here. There is a mellow, gospel vibe to the closing parts of this. 

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