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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Simone Vignola

Going to the Next Level

Review by Gary Hill

I really like this disc a lot. Simone Vignola is incredibly talented. While this might not fall into a classical definition of progressive rock, certainly it fits under the heading of “music that progresses” and there is enough here that fits under more traditional definitions to make this work. Bass players in particular should check this out (and I’m one of those) because this guy is very talented in terms of that instrument. Of course, the fact that he does just about everything else here is an added bonus. The disc is always listenable and should appeal to a wide range of music fans.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Chemical Body

There’s a weird vocal loop and then a bass guitar comes in and just plain wails. This guy is amazing. The sound is basically fusion and it’s mostly just bass guitar over that loop with some drums. Keyboards join at around a minute and a half. Eventually we get some vocals and this is a killer tune that’s part fusion, part electronica and part pop rock.

Time Is Flying Again
A smooth fusion sound permeates this track. Again, the bass really screams and drives this. The sound is part space rock and part fusion with a really accessible element, too. It’s amazing how catchy this can be with as much meaty jamming that’s going on in it.
All My Needs
Here’s a frantic jam that really drives. It’s less funky and jazz like and more rock oriented. This isn’t as instantly accessible as some of the other material, but it’s still very cool. There’s an awesome funky bass guitar line later.
Can't Wait Anymore
The vocal performance here seems freeform and this cut is mostly just jazzy, funky bass guitar with some space over the top. It’s another killer tune. The arrangement turns more like the rest of the set as it continues.
Love Song
Amazing funky bass is the order of business. The vocals swing across the top and this is another tune that’s fusion oriented, although it’s mostly just bass, drums and vocals.
Routine
There’s a cool groove to this tune, which is a little more mainstream. There are some great instrumental moments later as this shifts to something closer to fusion.
Still Life
We get a more sedate arrangement here as the fusion sounds drive this and serve as the backdrop for the tasteful vocals. There is more killer bass soloing on the tune.
Waiting
A bass line drives this as killer retro sounds are heard overhead. This one’s an instrumental that’s pretty solidly fusion.
Broken
While many of the same players (in terms of musical references) are heard here, this one has more rock and roll built into it. It’s got a killer bass line, but that’s just expected at this point.
Faq
While there’s a lot of urban sound here, this is still quite funky and fusion oriented. It’s got some R & B in terms of loops and other sounds.
I Just Don't Wanna Miss You
The bass harmonics floating over the top of this are classic and the groove has some great modern prog in it, alongside fusion.
Colours
More of a modern alternative rock texture makes this one up, but the bass line drives it into fusion territory.
Going To The Next Level

The title track has more of those killer bass guitar harmonics and some scorching hot bass playing behind that. It’s another instrumental with a great groove.

 
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