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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Un1son

Fountains of Gold

Review by Gary Hill

Actually a test pressing, this release by Rick Neuhoff`s project UN1SON is a solid prog album, although a bit roughly mixed at times. The lyrics to the album are poem`s from Wendy Vig`s Fountains of Gold book, which is illustrated by Yes` Jon Anderson. The test pressing of the Fountains of Gold CD by UN1SON can be purchased directly from Rick for $20 + $3 postage (Priority Mail) and includes the Wendy Vig / Jon Anderson book in the price. Contact Rick by mail at:Rick Neuhoff, 437 West 46th Street #1FE, New York, NY 10036. You can also reach him by phone at (212) 581-4884 or email (UN1SON@aol.com) . Please let him know that you read about it in Music Street Journal.

Rick is joined on this release by many musicians, including Eduardo Del Signore, Jordan Rudess, Ray Gomez, Pamela Fleming, Adam Lieb.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
For Mark
Essentially a bluesy train oriented piece, this one is nearly all instrumental. It does, however, feature a brief spoken word reading by Wendy Vig.
The Firebird Suite
This is an intriguing performance of Igor Stravinsky`s well known classical composition. The cut almost takes a Yesish approach to the number. That is rather appropriate, since Yes used the original classical rendition of this piece as their intro music on many tours. Because of that usage, it creates a strong feeling of anticipation in any listener who has seen many Yesshows.

Safe With You
A funky sort of cut, this one feels a bit like a jazzy take on Jefferson Airplane.
Behind My Eyes
With a very strange effects oriented intro, this tune has a weird feel to it. Put that with the textures of the song proper, and it gives forth a very Hawkwindesque effect.

Flight to Another World
A pretty rock ballad at first, the composition transforms into a spacey sound effects oriented number.

Dreams
Horse galloping begins this piece which, again, takes on Hawkwindish tones for a time, before becoming a pretty standard rock song with inspired guitar work.
I Wish
I Wish is a progish rock tune with a nice rhythm structure.
Understanding
This is an intriguing prog rock number that includes some very modern textures.
For Jon
This cut features Jordan Rudess (recently picked up by Dream Theater as their new keyboardist (also from Liquid Tension Experiment and The Dregs)) on keyboards. This track is a strong prog track in which the keys really steal the show. At times, the keys are reminiscent of the work on Awaken.
My Friend
A Yesish intro leads to a rock song with inspired bass work and a prog based arrangement that still remains a bit Yesish at times.
Love
Featuring Wendy Vig`s husband Curt on guitar, this cut is dramatic, fairly symphonic and rather in the mode of Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe.

Fountains of Gold
Nicely textured prog leads into a solid rock song with prog leanings. The instrumental break is very firmly planted in prog territory.
Song Of Love
With a rock and roll sort of feel, this is a stripped-down cut that shows some definite prog leanings.
Heaven Waits
Beginning in an atmospheric prog (somewhat Awakenish) mode, this cut is a solid prog rock entry that is rather Yesish in general.
Seas of Life
Appropriately, this one starts with the sounds of water crashing on a beach. This is another good progish rock number.
Love on the Wing
Another Yesish symphonic intro gives way to a fairly pop oriented piece that features nice bass work.
The Source Within
Companions
A spacey, Floydish intro gives way to a poppy textured song structure.
Visions
This inspired, jazzy section features flute playing by the poet herself. This is one of the most intriguing segments of this album. This one includes many interesting progressive rock textures, combining them in a wonderful texture.
The Gift
A playfully styled intro leads to a piece that is a bit new-waveish and somewhat Beatlesesque prog. There is a break that comes across in a Jon Anderson Animation sort of way before turning to funky modern jazz stylings that end the piece.
Spirits
This is a pretty prog ballad with Yesish moments.
Antiquity
Featuring frequent Jon Anderson bassist Eduardo Del Signore, this is a strong piece that is a bit Crimsonesque.
Universe/Love Speaks
Another cut with Jordan Rudess, this is somewhat bombastic prog. The number is strong progressive rock, although perhaps a bit over-blown at times, and encompasses several interesting modes and textures.
 
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