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Colin Tench Project - Hair In A G-String (Unfinished But Sweet) CD (album) cover

HAIR IN A G-STRING (UNFINISHED BUT SWEET)

Colin Tench Project

 

Crossover Prog

4.10 | 235 ratings

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BrufordFreak
4 stars Colin is feeling nostalgic!

1. "Hair in a G String (The Opening) Part 1" (6:25) is a very dramatic opening (an overture?) with quite theatric music supporting Peter Jones' eventual narration singing drawing us into the story (album). It's like the narration of the experience of writing and listening to a concept album 'show.' How self-aware is this writer/narrator/composer/performer! One of my three favorites from this album. (9/10)

2. "Can't See It Any Other Way" (4.36) a little in the countrified vein of the early EAGLES or GEORGE HARRISON/BEATLES-like tune. A well-recorded and -constructed homage to the music of the past but a little too over the top for me. (7/10)

3. "Hair in a G String (The Hairy Part) Part 2" (6.04) continues the "suite" theme that began with the album's opening song. This one feels very cinematic, like a lot of the Corvus Stone stuff. Very Spaghetti Western like (except for the drums--which are rather lame) with at least three distinct parts, the third of which is completely old-school SANTANA. (8/10)

4. "The Mad Yeti" (2:54) is a guitar instrumental with at least three or four tracks devoted to acoustic guitars. Not far from an Anthony Phillips piece. I like to imagine Colin sitting by a fire in the fireplace while recording each of these tracks. (8/10)

5. "The Sad Brazilian" (7:20) This happens to be one of my favorite songs on the album--as much for the wonderful use of orchestra and piano as for the wonderfully cinematic soundscapes painted herein. Even Colin's electric guitar flourishes are contained and restrained, yet they pack the perfect punch. (9/10)

6. "And So, Today" (4:12) is a beautiful tribute to four rock'n'roll greats that passed away in 2016. Great encrypted lyrics delivered with such beauty and respect from singer Pete Jones. Another of my three favorite songs here. (10/10)

7. "Hair in a G string (I'm Going Down) Part 3" (10.09) opens like a classic ROY BUCHANAN song, orchestra and all. Then, at 1:10 the guitar sound choice shifts into sustained overdrive to give it a more modern sound. At 2:25 there is a shift in mood to more Southern Rock--over which the theatric vocals of Pete Jones are delivered. The dreamy "feels so good" part at the five minute mark is pretty--as are the guitar and keyboard solos that follow. Accordion's presence gives the song a little beer hall feel. The song is starting to feel more PINK FLOYD/DAVID GILMOUR-esque here in the seventh and eighth minutes. Unfortunately, I find the premise that trimmed pubic hair is more desirable than the alternative to be a sad reflection of our paranoid, over-sanitized, youth-obsessed first world society. (9/10)

8. "Lisa Waltzes Back In With No G-String" (3:53) is a solid instrumental with another Spaghetti Western cinema feel to it--(this time especially the drums). (8/10)

9. "Lisa's Entrance Unplugged" (3:09) An oddly titled song for such a beautiful medieval folk song. One of my three favorites. (10/10)

10. "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Screwed" (7:32) The title here refers to the many themes from old classic rock songs that Colin here borrows and varies, including the BEATLES-esque opening upon which the song is founded. (As I said in the opening to this review: "Colin is feeling nostalgic.") To my ears, it is the Eagles, Pink Floyd, and The Beatles that are most represented in the collection and juxtapositions of the riffs I hear. Quite probably Colin means this as another tribute to the recently deceased heroes of rock history. Colin puts on display some wonderfully emotional guitar and melodic wizardry in his expression of these familiar themes. (9/10)

11. "La Palo Desperado (5:54) is pure Spanish guitar play--as if King Henry VIII's court with his first wife, Isabella of Spain. Nice concert material--though perhaps a bit drawn out. (8/10)

12. "A Beautiful Feeling" (5:58) sounds like a hit crossover song from the mid-70s--could be from Glenn Campbell, Charley Rich, Leo Sayer, Ronnie Milsap, the early Eagles or even The Greatest American Hero or Grease. Actually a pretty good song! Let's get it some AM radio airplay. (9/10)

13. "Dnieper Summer Day (1:38) is a multiple acoustic guitar piece that though essentially Spanish in its feel, purports to have something to do with Russia--though it's really a variation on The Eagles' "Hotel California" chords and melodies. (8/10)

14. "Part 4b (7:56) is stable rock set up for a humorous vocal drama between musicians, composers, lyricists, and singers. They really do camp it up! IT sounds like it could come out of a music studio version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. For the first three minutes it's quite fun, then it gets weird/silly in a Tim Burton-kind of way (despite Colin's excellent guitar soloing). Then, at 5:28 it threatens to become a heavy metal song, only it doesn't. The vocals disappear and Colin goes on doing his bluesy electric lead solos (in multiple channels/tracks). The orchestra joins in at the end in a kind of Quadrophenia kind of way as the narrator brings the comicopera to an end. Entertaining! (9/10)

15. "Part 4b Redux (0:23) is a brief dance hall version of the chords and comedy of the previous song.

There is so much nostalgia present in this album I wonder what Colin is going through (on a personal level). I appreciate his commitment to and reverence of these heroes and influences of his. Where Colin's music here lacks in comparison with his last Corvus Stone albums is in the up-front show of virtuosic flair in the electric guitar department. The man is an electric guitar god, so why not exploit it! I mean, there are only so many albums that one can put out in a lifetime (unless you're Buckethead, Sun Ra, John Zorn, or the Acid Mothers Tempe), so let's flaunt it! For posterity! One last thing: While I comprehend Colin's rather clever pun-manship with potty humour topics, I'm not necessarily a big fan: There's always a little too much implied misogyny (or male locker room attitude) involved for my comfort. Still, the man is nothing short of a genius! And a mega talented one, at that!

A 4.5 stars album; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music--and a genius piece of music drawing on, but making all his own, the riffs and melodies of past masters.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |

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