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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Brett Vogel

Never Giving Up

Review by Gary Hill

This is a great pop set. It’s based on a decent range of music, from things like Savage Garden to 1960s pop rock, 70s soft rock and more. Everything here is accessible. It’s quite effective start to finish, really.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
When You’re Lonely

This is energetic and fun. It has a lot in common with the upbeat pop rock of the 1960s. Still, there is a modern sound here, too. The vocal arrangement is classy.

Never Giving Up
Somehow the title track makes me think of Savage Garden quite a bit. It’s another energetic pop song, but it’s a bit more purely modern than the opener was. The vocals bring some classic soul and R&B vibes in some ways, though.
Two Times the Killer
This rocker isn’t far removed from what we’ve heard so far, but it seems to up the ante in terms of rock edge and intensity. It’s kind of a screamer.
Surcease in Time
Starting mellow, the introduction on this is quite extensive. It works out to more of an alternative rocker that’s informed by the sounds of the 70s.
California Take Me Away
A 70s soft rock vibe gets energized with more modern elements on this mellower tune.
Painted Skies
That same soft rock element is prominent here. It’s blended with even more modern alternative rock, though. This is a catchy song, but they all are, really.
Crazy about a Girl
Folk music, rockabilly and more show up on this number. It still fits with the rest, but brings some new flavors to the table. It’s fairly mellow piece, but has plenty of energy.
All of the Others
There is even more of a country element on this song. Otherwise, though, it’s more of the same kind of mellow pop music we’ve heard throughout a lot of the set. It’s a good number, but not really one of my favorites. It does bring some variety to the table, though.
I Miss the Snow
Although there are no big changes here, this song works quite well, too. It doesn’t feel redundant. It’s more of a rock ballad.
The Albatross

The mellowest piece of the whole disc, this is also the most evocative. It’s a beautiful ballad. It’s one of the best songs here, but I’m not sure that it’s wise to end the disc on such a sad and down-tempo piece.

 
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