STYLE: Celtic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 180735-30301 LABEL: Open Sky OPENSKYCD033 FORMAT: CD Album
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
British producer and multi-instrumentalist (keys, acoustic and electric guitars, bazooka, mandolin) Bainbridge has been making memorable musical soundscapes for decades now. Like thousands of other music makers, Bainbridge put together 'To The Far Away' as a result of the consequences of the global pandemic. As anyone who's journeyed with Dave down the years will know, prog is Dave's greatest musical leaning. But this particular reviewer, with more simple pop and rock tastes, often found the lengthy instrumental passages here failing to hold my attention. It was only when a Celtic folk element was added to a song, like on the opener "Sea Gazer", that I connected fully with the intricate layers of sound like they used to with all those wonderful Iona albums of old. I'm also not a big fan of the work of poet Lynn Caldwell (who provided some of the words here) and though I found the themes explored interesting enough (like some quotes from the film Victoria & Abdul and modern day prophet Greta Thunberg), my mind started to wander particularly on an instrumental like "Cathedral Thinkers". Maybe all the above is saying that I'm simply the wrong man to be reviewing this album but I don't really think Cross Rhythms readers, who've enthused over Dave's albums like 'Veil Of Gossamer' (10 squares) and 'Celestial Fire' (8 squares), will be put off this one. And there are a few fragments - like Troy Donockley's high and low whistles and Uillean pipes and Sally Minnear's haunting vocals - which did touch me. But in truth this isn't an album I'll be playing again.
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