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Eclectic Prog Team
2 stars Coven all but ditched their Satanic image for an almost equally frightening commercial approach. The sound is close to acts such as Elton John, Carly Simon, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, Three Dog Night, Bachman-Turner Overdrive and even Lynyrd Skynyrd. This is to say that while what is here is good pop music (even if second-rate most of the time), it bears no relation to progressive rock. Sadly, it is the best thing to come from Coven.

"Nightingale" Simple, the first song is pleasant enough. Jinx Dawson's vocals are clearer and more dynamic than they were on their debut. The piano is lovely enough, and the overall musicianship is decent, if somewhat uninspired.

"Shooting Star" Song number two is a barrelhouse rock song with thumping bass and a rock and roll piano holding it all together.

"Natural Love" The third song floats somewhere between funk and blues, with a solid bass groove and interesting riffs, but an otherwise basic structure. Dawson does some high-pitched screeching just before the guitar solo for no apparent reason.

"What Can I Get Out of You" One of the best songs on the album, this one has a good bass groove and more intriguing instrumentation, moving between soft sections of harpsichord and more barrelhouse rock. The male vocalist is more pleasant than Dawson here, as she does quite a bit more screeching, but the counterpoint at the end and the acoustic closing are a highlight of the album.

"Dark Day in Chinatown" Also a fairly funk-like song, with the bass and guitar working together on the riffs, here is something that isn't disappointing, but also rather plain.

"Jailhouse Rock" Coven gives this Elvis Presley classic nothing new to speak of except pretty good lead guitar; other than that, it's really rather bland and probably shouldn't have been included, especially with all of Dawson's unwarranted screeching and vocalizing.

"Lonely Lover" This sounds exactly like a cross between Led Zeppelin and Lynyrd Skynyrd, employing a catchy main riff and hammered-out piano chords.

"I Guess It's a Beautiful Day Today" This shows the softer side of Coven, fluttering between pop-rock and country music, actually sounding a lot like Three Dog Night. Honestly, when viewed in that light, it's a satisfying song with a great refrain. This is probably my favorite Coven song (which isn't saying much, I realize, but one can take that for what it is).

"Washroom Wonder" Perhaps an attempt to inject a little humor into the album, this piano-based song begins with the sound of a flushed toilet. It boasts some fairly raunchy lyrics. Musically, it's very similar to Bachman-Turner Overdrive's hit, "Takin' Care of Business."

"Nobody's Leavin' Here Tonight" Despite it's fast tempo, this song remains uninteresting. The lyrics are lame, as is the "hardcore" singing by the male vocalist. The electric guitar solo is quite good, however.

"One Tin Soldier (The Legend of Billy Jack)" Perhaps Coven's most famous effort, the last song on the album has a fun and delightful melody, and the overall sound makes me think of Renaissance's "Carpet of the Sun," released a year earlier. In my opinion, it's probably their second-best song.

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Posted Monday, February 2, 2009 | Review Permalink

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