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Steve Unruh - Sampler 2007 CD (album) cover

SAMPLER 2007

Steve Unruh

 

Prog Folk

3.05 | 3 ratings

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aapatsos
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
3 stars Decent effort from Steve Unruh that presents his 10 years in songwriting through this sampler. The sampler is available for free download from his website and includes 7 tracks, one from each of his personal works from 1997 until today. The music presented in this compilation is a blend of modern prog folk and acoustic songs, mainly influenced by Jethro Tull, Yes and American folk. Most tracks are based on acoustic guitars with the addition of violin, keyboards and flute that mix well with each other, all of them played by Steve Unruh. Since I am not an expert of Steve Unruh's music - unfamiliar with his other efforts (except for his 2005 sampler) - I will try to judge this album just in terms of music, and not as a compilation.

Strangely, I found myself enjoying all the odd numbered tracks (i.e. 1,3,5,7), while the even numbered ones (i.e. 2,4,6) did not pose much interest to me! Seven Journeys East is an excellent instrumental opening track, probably the best in this sampler, blending beautiful melodies with energetic violin and flute playing, revealing indeed eastern musical influences. On the same level, Song to the Sky (last part) is a more melodic track, with melancholic vocals adding much to its excellence. The two 'chairs' of the compilation (Flowered Chair and Lawn Chair) are decent and pleasant modern-acoustic-guitar songs that don't impress on the first listening but might grow on you after a while. Beautiful violin melodies are everywhere in Lotus' Land II, and yet another charming 'folkish' song is created, based on acoustic guitars. Leaf/Fly/Finale is a three-made-in-one song from 'Believe?', reminding a bit of Porcupine Tree in the slower parts. Even though there are many rhythm changes in the song, it finally sounds just pleasant, probably due to its 'simplicity'. Slowly as the Lights Go Down is an excellent selection for concluding this compilation, with its bluesy feeling obvious in the guitar playing, flowing throughout, and an interesting vocal performance from Steve Unruh that 'grasps' the tone perfectly.

I have the feeling that prog-rock fans will particularly enjoy the more 'complicated' tracks of this sampler, as I did. 'Seven Journeys East' and 'Song to the Sky (last part)' are by far the more interesting ones. Concluding, I have noticed that the songs I enjoyed more come from Steve Unruh's latest releases; this might mean something if the selected tracks are representative of the records. Overall, a pleasant compilation that surely has its moments...

aapatsos | 3/5 |

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