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Non-Prog CD Reviews

The Glass Child

I Must Be Gone and Live, or Stay and Die

Review by Gary Hill

The mastermind behind this work is a lady named “Charlotte Eriksson.” She’s definitely talented. This album is a work of art from the lyrics to the music and the vocals. At times it feels just a little awkward, but that awkwardness is almost a charm of it. I like this set a lot. It reminds me of a lot of different music, but never apes anything. Pretty much everything here is good and there are a couple songs that would be worth buying this for even if the rest wasn’t good.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
The Fall

Musically, this is modern pop rock. The arrangement is energetic and effective. To me, though, the real selling point comes from the vocal performance. For one thing, I like the rushed pacing on some of the phrases accentuating a slight rephrasing that changes the concept a little. For another thing, the range between mellower and more soulful rocking sounds works really well. This is a great way to start things off in style.

Heroes
As strong as the opener was, it didn’t prepare me for this one. The cut starts mellow with just piano, but builds out into an extremely powerful tune. The vocal arrangement has multiple layers and lends a lot of power to the piece. The whole thing is packed with emotion. This is one of the best songs of the whole set and worth the price of admission all by itself.
Yesterday
Although this isn’t at the same level as the previous numbers, it’s still very powerful. It combines folk music and the same modern pop sound as has been heard to this point. It has sections that are more delicate and intricate than the previous tracks, but it still manages to soar mid-track, too.
I'm Hidden So Well
More in keeping with modern pop music, this is high energy and angry. Yet, there is a sad vulnerability to it, too. I like this one, but sometimes the vocal arrangement doesn’t gel as well as it does on some of the other songs.
Winter Girl
Starting on acoustic guitar, for some reason this makes me think of Tori Amos a bit. I’m a big fan of Amos, so that’s a compliment. This song has a great balance between harder rocking and softer music. It also has a lot of drama and style.
Who Am I
Another powerful piece, it follows the basic concept here of starting mellow and working up to a more energized and vital arrangement. This has a real modern pop sound, but it also rocks quite well. It’s one of the most accessible pieces here.
London
This song is very pretty. It’s also very sad. It remains more sedate than most of the stuff here. It’s got a lot of folk music built into it, along with a lot of pop. It’s a standout for sure.
The Water's Edge
The basic premise here isn’t changed all that much. It’s another tune cut from the same cloth as the bulk of the music here. It’s good, but not a standout.
Running Up That Hill
This is a cover of my favorite Kate Bush song of all time. The arrangement on this is much more of a stripped down, sparse one than the original. The vocals are very different, but at times they seem more powerful. I prefer the original, but I definitely like this.
Who I’ve Grown to Be
Another highlight of the set, this is a powerful cut that really rocks. It has a fine balance between mellow and hard edged. It’s dramatic and evocative. It is another that is worth the price of admission.
I Took His Smile Away
There’s more of a rocking sound to this in a lot of ways. Yet, it drops back to just piano and voice at times. It is packed with emotion along with some great vocal hooks.
The Water's Edge (Stripped Version)
I think that I like this version (an acoustic based one) better than the first version of the song. It has enough variety and a sparse enough sound to let the vocals really shine.
Lonely In This Love (Stripped Version)
This cut has a rather bluesy rock vibe mixed with mellow pop music. The vocals are the real selling point.  It turns into quite a cool psychedelic jam before finally heading out. It’s a great combination of space rock and psychedelia, really.
 
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