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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Road Man

Light at the Speed of Life

Review by Gary Hill

I’ve seen some people who call these guys a reggae band. While there is nothing wrong with reggae (I’m actually a fan of the genre), such a label is way too limiting for this act. There are a lot of other sounds going on here. It’s accessible music, no matter the angle from which it’s coming. It’s entertaining and has a lot of variety. It’s also very strong.

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
Dangerous Road

I absolutely love the sound on this cut. Yes, it’s a reggae tune, but it has jazz, funk and even some space rock built into it. It’s also built on a cool groove. It’s such a great song, making it an excellent choice to start this.

Chosen
The musical texture here is a retro soul music one. It’s got some jam band in the mix and some funk, too. Although, I prefer the opener, this is great, too.
Crying for So Long
With some cool keyboards opening this, it’s part 1960s rock, part soul and part space music at the beginning. It’s also all cool. Then it fires out into a jam that’s more like progressive rock from there. It’s also got plenty of metallic crunch. That gives way to a short acapella section before the earlier modes return.
Who Do You Love
A full on reggae tune, this does manage to include some gospel organ and a bit of a soul vibe. It’s a good song, but not one of my favorites.
Turn It Around
Funk, soul and more merge on this killer tune. It’s one of the best of the set, with a real 1970s vibe.
The Meeting
Combining soul, gospel, blues and rock, this is a killer tune. It sounds quite a bit like Lenny Kravitz.
Mankind Suicide
The first section of this cut is very much reggae meets jazz. As it works out to the pounding hard rocking segment later it has a lot of progressive rock and more built into it. It’s one of the coolest songs here.
Hornet’s Nest
There is some jazz in the mix, but overall this is pretty much a straight reggae tune. Although it’s solid, it’s not a standout.
No Wonder
Although this is mostly pure reggae, it gets some space music in the mid-section. It’s a classy tune.
Run Away with Me
While there is still some reggae in the mix here, along with some jazz, this reminds me of The Beatles in some ways. It also has a bit of Dixieland vibe.
Lights Camera Action
The pitch adjusted vocals on the introduction (and at other points later) are used for style, but they really cheapen the track. From there, though, it launches out into some killer funk. There are some cool space keyboard bits, too.
Blessing
Reggae and gospel merge with some jazz here. The lyrics (only two lines) are literally a blessing. They include an echoey, but essentially acapella version of the lines backtracked at the end. This does seem to go on a bit long, but it’s a good tune nonetheless.

 

 

 
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