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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Little Shells

5 Deep Under

Review by Gary Hill

I love music that serves as a melting pot. This clearly does that. It has elements of jazz, psychedelia, musical theater, progressive rock and much more blended into a powerful mélange of sound. Personally, I can’t see it landing anywhere but progressive rock. Certainly it’s progressive music, but it’s not the prog of the 70s, although some times it touches on that. Whatever you call it, though, it’s a great album.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Another Night

There is a lot of jazz in the rocking opener. It drops from there to sort of a jazz torch song sound. The sultry vocals are great. The cut builds out gradually from there in fine fashion. As it shifts to more rocking territory, there is musical theater, jazz and progressive rock in the mix. It works out to more of a full jazz treatment later in the tune as mellower sounds take it for the rest of the time.

Haik (god of the sea)
Jazz, psychedelia and prog all combine on this piece. It’s slower and not as dynamic as the opener. I love some of the vocal elements on this a lot, though. In fact, while this is a subtler tune than that first one, I think it’s stronger, too.
Feet on the Ground
A bit on the mellow side, this number has the same elements of psychedelia, jazz and prog. It’s another strong number. I like it a lot.
5 Deep Under
There is not as much jazz here, but the other players are still well represented. There is a spacey, dreamy quality to this piece.
I'll Remain
The majority of this is just piano and voice. That said, some sections are built on lusher, dreamy psychedelia. I like the acapella outro a lot.
Lola's Song
Another piano and voice arrangement opens this. On this particular piece, though, that remains the whole concept. This still manages to rock out a bit.
When They're Gone
Starting with a piano and symphonic string arrangement, this builds out into a lot more as it reaches its peak. The contrast between that more powerful section and the mellower, intimate one, is great.
Goodnight
Alternating between mellower and more energized sections, this number is almost entirely a jazz tune. It’s also a satisfying closer.

 

 
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