Four Pieces


Land Of Oz, 2012

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


It takes guts to release an album like this in 2012. Four songs, no vocals, all rock instrumentals built around classical music figures. People of a certain age will think of bands like Emerson, Lake & Palmer and cringe. People younger than that will pass because they can’t dance to it. Both camps would be wrong.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Cailyn Lloyd is, first and foremost, one heck of a guitar player. She brings a fluidity and grace to the electric axe, combining it with the language of Brian May (Queen) and David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) to create a classicist yet modern sound. For Four Pieces, she has written one original song and three pieces adapted from well-known classical works, but the guitars drive all the songs.

“Largo,” taken from Dvorak’s “New World Symphony,” starts off with a fluid, steady rock piece but segues into an intense blues guitar workout, recalling the work of Steve Vai but with a bit of Stevie Ray Vaughan emotion. “Nocturne” is along the same lines, an original piece that features languid playing and a peaceful fadeout, along the lines of what Gilmour was attempting to do with his solo record On An Island, but this take is more successful and interesting.

“Adagio” is influenced by Barber’s “Adagio For Strings” and starts as mournfully as the source material, giving way to some moody guitar theatrics before closing with a long fadeout and a slightly hopeful, if melancholy, ending. The 13-minute “Fantasia” is along the same lines as the other three songs but runs a bit long for what it offers, though Cailyn’s guitar is stellar as usual.

Four Pieces is a dense, majestic and yet approachable piece of work that brings to life old classical pieces without resorting to bombast or flashiness. Cailyn may well be one of the best undiscovered guitarists of the last five years, and this album certainly is one of the unheard gems of 2012.

Rating: B

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