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Into the Great Beyond is the new album from Seattle musician Stan Snow, who shows clear influences from Heartland rock of Tom Petty and the layered, intricate production of Paul Simon. Snow is best known as a member of the band Sundogs, and he’s made a tactical gambit with his breakout solo album, assembling an A-list cast of session musicians who have worked with everyone from Paul McCartney to Beck. The record is not quite a concept album or a rock opera as all of the songs are fairly independent, but there’s a continuity nevertheless as Snow tackles huge issues on each track.
The album’s finest moments occur when Snow strips back the proceedings and channels folky roots rock, especially on the opener “Guard” and “Insanity Repeats” which features some fantastic harmonies and guitarwork similar to CSN&Y. There’s bits of Steely Dan on “Chemical Fallacy” and “Now” sounds like a lost Who track from the late 60s. A lot of albums start to tail off in the second half, but Into the Great Beyond ends with a number of great songs, climaxing with “Change” and “Seasons,” both of which find Snow dabbling with elements of classic prog. Clearly Snow covers a lot of territory here, but it all works magically making the album sound like a can’t-miss collection of great stand alone singles.
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