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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Arjen Anthony Lucassen

Arjen Anthony Lucassen's Strange Hobby

Review by Gary Hill

This album was originally released quite a few years back, but without Lucassen's name attached. This new reissue gives full credits. Of course, other than guest vocalist Peter Daltrey on one track, everything here is done by Lucassen. This is a collection of covers (with one original tune). It has a real psychedelic rock edge to it. It's perhaps not really prog, but Lucassen's participation lands it there. Besides, some of this is proggy. Wherever you see it landing, though, this is a great album.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Arnold Layne

The old school Pink Floyd tune gets a bit of a metallic edge. This is a killer prog rock number that I think surpasses the original. It still has plenty of psychedelia built into it.

Norwegian Wood
Here we get a Beatles song rework. Again, there is a metal edge to the tune. Still, it feels quite psychedelic overall.
Pictures of Matchstick Men

I've always loved this song, and that includes every cover I've heard. This is no exception. There is some serious crunch built into this thing here. Of course, the original had some of that entity, too.

I Am a Rock
A cover of a Simon and Garfunkel tune, this really rocks. It has a metal meets psychedelic and prog arrangement. I really like this one a lot.
Boris the Spider
Frantic and metallic, this Who cover really screams. I've always loved this song, but this really elevates into new territory.
(Further Reflections) in the Room of Percussion
This psychedelically tinged rocker sounds a lot like the Who, but was originally by Kaleidoscope.
Sunny Afternoon
I've never been a huge fan of this song. I love this version, though. There is enough of a crunchy edge to really pull it into some great new territory.
See Emily Play
We are back in Pink Floyd territory on this. This thing really rocks with some serious metallic textures. Yet there are prog things here, too.
For No One
Another Beatles cut, this is a bit less metallic than some of the rest. It has some definite psychedelic tendencies. You might even pick up some fusion things here.
I Want You
A song that was written by Bob Dylan, this thing really rocks here. It's one of the most straightforward rockers here.
Bus Stop
This classic tune gets a particularly hard rocking remake here. This might be one of my favorites of the set, really.
Flowers in the Rain

This psychedelic rocker is a lot of fun. It's nothing Earth shattering, but just classy and catchy.

The Letter
I've always loved this tune, too. This one gets some serious metal built into it. It works well in this format.
Ride a White Swan
This still feels like a T-Rex tune. It gets a bit more of a metal edge, but overall this is a song that's closer to the source material than a lot of the music here is.
Sloop John B
I'm one of the few people in the world who doesn't like The Beach Boys. I like this version of the BB classic tune, though. I dig the vocal arrangement.
Daydream Believer
A song best known as done by The Monkees, this is presented here mellower than the bulk of the album. It has some great psychedelia in this mix, though. It's a fun rocker. It does get crunchy before it ends, though.
Catch the Wind
The opening here is a bit weird and trippy. From there, though, we get some seriously metallic stuff. Still, the cut was originally done by Donovan, so you have to expect psychedelia, and it delivers.
Ice in the Sun
Here's another song that was originally done by Status Quo. It sounds a lot like Sweet to me in this crunch meets psychedelic arrangement.
Bonus Tracks
                          

Pretty Girls

An original song from Lucassen, this thing is screaming hot. It fits so well with the other music here that you really can't tell that it's not a cover.

In the Room of Percussion - Feat. Peter Daltrey
Another Kaleidoscope song, this one features their singer as a guest performer. This is more pure psychedelia in a lot of ways. The guitar does bring some crunch after the first verse, though.
Last Train to Clarksville
Another song that was made famous by The Monkees, this rocker has always been a great one. This version is pretty awesome.
Ruby Tuesday
I've always love the Stones original. This version is really strong, too. It's one that's closer to the original than some of the others are.
 
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