Wayne Rogers

All Good Works

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By the mid-'90s, Wayne Rogers' primary musical outlet, the Magic Hour, were busy exploring extended instrumental drones and reveries, with songs that would undulate for a good 15 or 20 minutes before finally fading away. Rogers has never been the type to stay in one style for very long, however, and as a result of these ever-expanding tendencies on the part of the Magic Hour, his third solo album is his most concise and song-oriented album. Aside from the eight-minute title track, which finds Rogers trading overdubbed guitar solos with himself like an American version of the Bevis Frond, and a seven-minute closer, the predominantly acoustic tracks on All Good Works hover around the two-to-three-minute range, with recognizable verse-chorus-bridge structures. The results, especially the meditative "January First," sound rather a lot like Galaxie 500 (ironic since Damon & Naomi were the Magic Hour's rhythm section), although Rogers' one flaw, his thin and reedy vocal style, lacks the charm of Dean Wareham's conversational voice. Closer to the brief of Rogers' first band, Crystalized Movements, than his other solo albums, All Good Works is an excellent starting point for the Rogers novice.

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