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Loonypark - Straw Andy CD (album) cover



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Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars Calling 1980s classic rock fans: Here's an album you may wish to check out. There are various guitar textures and solos, synthesizer backing, and powerful drumming, all of which screams FM radio. Sabina Godula-Zając has a warm, bluesy voice that lends itself well to these rock songs. Imagine a female-fronted Journey (or, easier still, think of Heart) with occasionally more complex arrangements- that's Loonypark's Straw Andy. My main criticism is that the second half of the album consists of slower-paced songs, and a lot of the energy that the first half builds never returns.

"Straw Andy" After a teasing Mellotron, this opening track becomes a straightforward guitar-led instrumental.

"Undefeated" A pleasant distorted rhythm and synthesizer lead introduces this inoffensive rocker. The guitars are dynamic, ranging from dialed-back distortion to fuller riffing.

"Baby Lulla Shadows - Part 1" I dig the main riff to this, especially with the sputtering bass guitar flickering underneath it. The 1980s rock and roll vibe is decidedly present with the synthesizer backing and the lead guitar antics.

"Baby Lulla Shadows - Part 2" The second part brings multiple guitar sounds- acoustic, crunchy electric, smooth chorused electric- and creates a soft rock song almost capable of inducing slow dancing.

"Try" Another soft rocker, this time led by electric piano has a refrain that makes me want to put on roller skates and dodge the reflected light hitting the floor from a shimmering, rotating globe.

"Strangers" This reflective song on acoustic piano keeps me whisked away to the 1980s.

"The World is Enough" A third slow dance song in a row, this one, just as pretty, keeps the piano but adds a bit of acoustic guitar and some other light instrumentation. The tasteful guitar solo leads into some big synth.

"Dance" Speaking of synth, here's a darker one soaked in it alongside saturated guitar that tapers off into more hushed verses. From time to time it springs back into crunchy brusqueness. Compared to many of the other songs, this one is tougher to follow. A seemingly unrelated synthesizer passage shows up near the end.

"Great in the Sky" Mournful piano "Great [Gig] in the Sky" and equally mournful vocals make up the bulk of the final song. The album concludes with another satisfying guitar solo.

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Posted Tuesday, August 5, 2014 | Review Permalink

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