John Michael Talbot - Pathways To Wisdom

Monday 1st June 1998
John Michael Talbot - Pathways To Wisdom
John Michael Talbot - Pathways To Wisdom

STYLE: Ambient/Meditational
RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6
LABEL: Troubadour For The Lord 3846252

Reviewed by Paul Wright

You are in an autumnal forest. The trees are parted ahead of you and although the way is covered with leaves it is apparent that others have gone before. On the reverse of the CD is a list of themes with Latin names following the path of the heart called by Wisdom, leading from silence to speech but crowned by giving glory humbly to the Creator. With such a presentation it is not surprising to hear the tones of Enya, but in this case the sea of flutes and chimes is sailed throughout by John Michael Talbot's nylon strung guitar. I hear predominantly classical cadences (with many of the medieval resolutions popular in current ambient and film score music) interspersed with well placed, playful, contemporary progressions. Although I was quickly taken into the mood of the music, I still find it hard to distinguish the character of each track, much less explain the choice of titles. "Silence" and "Speak", for example, are both similarly mellow despite their concepts suggesting contrast. Furthermore, the predominant guitar may be for some like an unwelcome fellow swimmer in their private, ambient lagoon. Production and arrangement are impeccable thus if this CD was the coffee and welcome music at my home group, one would not know by sound quality alone whether it was Christian or secular. Having said that, one would probably not think to ask because this music is perfect for being beneficently unnoticed. So while the dedicated listener may wish to pay closer attention, for most I would recommend this painting to be studied from a distance.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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