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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Highland Kites

All We Left Behind

Review by Gary Hill

Artsy and yet rocking, this is intriguing stuff. The blend of sounds works quite well. At times there is a tendency toward too much similarity, but this mostly avoids that trap. It’s quite an interesting set, really.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Small Frame

Folk music and alternative pop combine here to create a bouncy and yet almost moody number. This is a fun little piece and a great opener. There are definitely elements of shoegaze, dream pop and psychedelia in the mix.

Now I'm Home
Although there are no huge changes, this is more in the rock vein, rather than pop. It’s not as moody, either. Still, shoe gaze, alternative rock and more are merged on this effective number.
Black and White
With definite Americana added to the mix, this focuses more on piano and percussion than the other tracks have. It’s one of the stronger pieces here, too.
Broken
This is much moodier. It’s both a more stripped back arrangement and yet somehow closely aligned to modern progressive rock. It’s an artistic number that’s also very effective.
Intertwined
Another strong piece, this is a bit too much like the rest to really stand out.
Empty Pages
Now, this is the variety we really needed at this point. The verses are in the same kind of moody, alternative rock style, but the choruses really rock. It’s one of the most “different” pieces here. It’s also one of the most effective.
I Don't Blame You
There is almost a 1960s vibe to this. It’s colored by the modern alternative aesthetic, though. This is another of the standout piece of the set. It might even be my favorite here. I dig the slide guitar that almost brings a country edge to it.
Polaroids
This song is pretty and sad. It’s not a huge variation, although it lands on the mellower side of the equation. That said, it’s really among the most poignant songs here.
Before You Leave
There is a definite symphonic edge to this. Yet, it’s also one of the mainstream rockers of the set. This would be a great choice for a single because it seems like it would have the widest potential audience reach. It’s a strong cut for sure.
Bitter to Brilliant
This is quite a dynamic piece. It’s one of the most artistic, too. It is appropriately brilliant in terms of both structure and lyrical content. It’s also another that has definite ties to modern progressive rock.
 
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