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Album Review: Pigeonholes
Neal Fox
Cover image of the album Pigeonholes by Neal Fox
Neal Fox
2005 / Wire Duck Records
61 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Pigeonholes is a one-man multimedia show created, directed, and performed by Neal Fox. This soundtrack CD includes the sixteen original songs from the dynamic 90-minute musical production that incorporates caustic humor, social commentary, satire, and heartbreaking truths. The musical styles are all over the map, underscoring Fox’s reputation for being extraordinarily eclectic. This production is a strong demonstration of why Fox is impossible to classify. A lot of music with a message is either strong lyrically or musically, but Fox’s material is both. Pigeonholes is his labor of love, a creation that is done exactly the way he wanted with no holds barred. The results are unique, thought-provoking, and very entertaining. A DVD of the performance is now available as well.

Pigeonholes begins with “Evolution,” a dramatic instrumental prelude that leads into the catchy and somewhat autobiographical title song. Next is “Alone With My Dreams, Tonight,” a story that tells a tale of loss due to an impetuous mistake in youth. The emotion and depth of the story are a poignant reminder of the late Harry Chapin. “No Balls” is rude, crude, and totally hilarious. “The Antidepressant Song” is a great blues story of a famous singer who loses his career because his life becomes “so pleasant” after being prescribed antidepressants. Bravo! “Got War?” is an instrumental prelude to “Tell Me Why,” a powerful and painful anti-war song told from a young child’s perspective. “Bar Noir” is slinky blues. One of my favorites is “Pickup in Aisle Three,” a song about a self-important grocery clerk who lives for the chance to use the loudspeaker at the store whenever there is a mess. The raunchy but fun “Let’s Do It Till We Get Irritated” is a fairly self-explanatory rap. After that and the rocking “It Ain’t Right,” Fox plays a gorgeous love ballad, “When The Real Thing Comes Around.” This guy can do anything! His “Human Rights Suite,” is an elegant instrumental. The closing piece is the wrenching “It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way,” about working toward world peace and “keeping the dream alive no matter what the cost.” What an ending to an incredible CD!

I have to admit that I was not familiar with Neal Fox until a couple of months ago when I reviewed his “Solo Piano, Volume 1” CD and songbook. Now I have added a new favorite artist to my list. This CD is available from www.wireduck.com and Amazon.com. Recommended!
August 29, 2009
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