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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Stacie Rose

Shotgun Daisy

Review by Gary Hill

I like this album. I wouldn’t say I’m completely ecstatic about it, or that it’s the most original think I’ve heard, but it’s quite good. Part of the trouble with the disc is the way it’s laid out. The first half of the set contains the least original and most “modern pop rock” oriented songs. That means it tends to be a little lackluster in terms of bowling the listener over and it also has a little bit of a “samey” quality. Once you get into the second half Rose stretches out a bit more and moves more into rather unique territory. By that point, though, she might have lost some listeners. The set would have worked better if she had peppered the first half with songs that currently reside closer to the end. Still, it’s a good album no matter what quibbles you have with it. She could have probably pushed it to very good – or maybe even all the way to great if she had changed it up a bit more in terms of song sequence.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Find Your Way

A modern pop rock sound laced with classic elements is the order of business here. It starts mellower but works to more rocking territory as it continues. While this is not Earth-shattering, it's quite effective.

Hope
The arrangement on this is a bit lusher. The cut has a lot more of a modern pop texture. It’s a good tune and definitely more instantly accessible than the opener. I have to say that I like that one’s energy and charm a bit more than this one, though. All that said, this definitely has its moments.
Love Saves
Somehow this one reminds me quite a bit of Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians. There’s definitely a more modern element to this, too – but I think that comparison works pretty well. There’s a bit of a jazz vibe at times, too. 
Run Out (Feat. Shawn Mullins)
Here we get a slower cut that’s got a bit of a country vibe to it. This is tasty and one of the stronger pieces on show here. 
Mr. & Mrs. Happily Ever After
Although this is perhaps less unique (it’s well rooted in modern pop alternative rock sounds) it’s a strong piece that’s catchy and tasty. 
Wreck At Best
The changes here aren’t drastic, but there’s some tasty keyboard work on this and it’s one of the more dynamic pieces. It’s also got a bit of a bluesy texture to it at times. This is one of the highlights of the set. 
Not Listening
One of the more unique pieces here this has a less accessible and “take the expected route” arrangement. It’s very much along the lines of Sheryl Crow. It’s a good track and presents a bit of variety. 
Black and Blue
Here’s another that’s a bit different. It’s much more rhythmically driven than a lot of the disc.
December
Mellower than anything else on the set, this has a killer jazzy texture to a lot of it. It’s another that adds some variety to the set. It’s also a standout of the album. At over six minutes in length this is also one of the longest numbers on show. 
Hit Me In the Head
This mellow piece is another that brings variety to the table. It’s got an echoey sort of texture and a rather sparse – and yet somehow lush – arrangement. It’s another strong piece of music. 
Ever Again
Now we come in closer to the music that made up a lot of the early portions of the set. Coming back to this after the type of variety we’ve just had makes it feel fresh. This reminds me quite a bit of Rickie Lee Jones. It’s another strong one and has a cool arrangement. 
Worry Free
This one starts slow and quite mellow but becomes a rather soaring sort of expansive piece. It’s another that makes me think of Miss Jones. It’s another that’s got some variety in it from the first half of the disc. It’s also another standout. It’s actually very creative – and yet subtly so. You just have to listen a little to make out all the interesting little touches. The closing section is spacey prog rock wanderings.
 
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