prog Archive

Hundred-word Reviews for Nov./Dec. 2016, Part 9 of 10

Gary Ritchie – Poptimistic Style: powerpop Melodic, good-natured powerpop is the order of the day on Ritchie’s new album. Musical touchstones include the obvious ones (Beatles, Raspberries, Romantics) and some perhaps less obvious ones (he reminds me a good bit of Donnie Iris). There’s always room on my shelf for some quirk-free rock ‘n’ roll,

Hundred-word Reviews for Nov./Dec. 2016, Part 7 of 10

Farewell Milwaukee – FM Style: heartland jangle-rock Jangling guitars, good-timin’ harmonica, well-worn chord changes … those are the key ingredients in the musical recipe for this album. Familar echoes of John Mellencamp, R.E.M., Gin Blossoms are found throughout the thirteen tracks. But there’s more at work, too: “Figure You out” has a nice southern soul

Hundred-word Reviews for Nov./Dec. 2016, Part 6 of 10

All through last week, I plowed through my to-be-reviewed CD shelf, covering 50 discs (45 CDs, 5 DVDs) in five days. All of the music was reissues, compilations and/or archival releases. This week the march toward a clean shelf continues, with the focus now on new (as in, released in 2016) CDs. Off we go!

Jon Anderson: Invention of a New Musical Collaboration

Former Yes vocalist Jon Anderson kicked off a tour with two of his old band mates, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman on October 4; Anderson Rabin Wakeman already has dates scheduled into the end of March 2017. But in June 2016, Anderson released the product of a collaboration with Swedish multi-instrumentalist Roine Stolt (Flower Kings,

Analog Moon: Transcendent Men

Winner of the 1999 National Medal of Technology and Innovation, technology futurist Ray Kurzweil has some controversial – and inspiring – ideas. Kurzweil is an outspoken theorist who believes that before this century is over, Earth will see development of a hybrid human-machine civilization. In popular entertainment, that idea can be taken in several directions;

Album Mini-review: Marillion — F.E.A.R.

File next to: Pink Floyd, Blackfield On their 18th studio album – and 14th with frontman Steve Hogarth – UK progressive rock outfit Marillion returns with its first new release since 2012’s Sounds That Can’t Be Made. The 17 tracks that make up the album are clearly designed to be taken as a whole; more

Hundred-word Reviews for September 2016, Part 2

Five more quick reviews, presented in random order. The Bangles – Ladies and Gentlemen … the Bangles! This Los Angeles group never got the serious recognition they deserved. Chalk it up to the marketing approach of the time, but the focus was more on their undeniable good looks than their top-notch playing and writing skills.

Hundred-word Reviews for September 2016, Part 1

This week, I’m publishing 25 album reviews, each a tidy 100 words. In no particular order. Asia – Phoenix For most listeners, Asia was a one-and-done proposition; their self-titled 1982 debut was a huge hit that spawned three Top 10 hit singles. True, their second and third albums charted and had singles, too, but nobody

Album Mini-review: Anderson-Stolt — Invention of Knowledge

File next to: Yes, Flower Kings, Spock’s Beard Swedish multi-instrumentalist Reine Stolt made a name for himself with Flower Kings, a successful attempt at bringing the 1970s classic progressive rock aesthetic into modern times. The inimitable Jon Anderson was the voice of prog heroes Yes from their 1969 beginning until his departure in 2004. While

Hundred-word Reviews for July 2016, Part 3

Five more quick reviews of new or recent album releases. Today features a couple of the best of the week’s bunch. Mike Eldred Trio – Baptist Town Nick Curran‘s Reform School Girl was one of the best albums of 2010. JD McPherson‘s Let the Good Times Roll was among the finest releases of 2015. If