« on: November 22, 2016, 11:25:08 AM »
Jeff Pearce "Follow The River Home" CD
An iconic ambient guitar soundscaper Jeff Pearce returns after two years with his newest album "Follow The River Home". Self-released via his Jeff Pearce Music during June 2016, the album comes in a catchy 4-panel digipak with gorgeously immersing images and graphic design by Rainer Gembalczyk, who already worked with Jeff Pearce on his previous "With Evening Above" CD. Additional credit goes to Jeff's daughter Thalia for her nice photography featured on a CD tray.
4-minute "Under Summer Stars" immediately sets warmly evocative atmosphere with its earmarking, pristinely ear-tickling stringed melodies exquisitely coupled with soothingly free-floating nocturnal washes guarding above. Balmily relaxing intro! "Downstream I" straightly shifts into deeper atmospheric terrains, masterfully sweeping, evanescing and emerging through gracefully panoptic cloudscapes, delicately reinforced by silent glimpses. Strikingly beautiful and splendidly majestic composition exhibiting distinctive soundsculpting elixirs by its creative genius. Bravo, Jeff!!! "Outpost" goes back to more glistening sceneries highlighted by lushly traversing stringed droplets, continuously delighting the listener's ears, while expansive drifts clandestinely awake, permeate across and amorphously counterpoint with persistently spirited gossamer strings. A headphone listening is fully rewarding in this case! Nearly 5 minutes long "Snowfall" introduces Jeff Pearce at the very top of his ingeniousness, when bridging his lyrically colorful and shimmeringly euphonious string insignias with intriguingly flamboyant and blazingly emotional full-bodied post-rock piquancy. Wow, a truly jaw-dropping transmutation awaits here! It's a pity the track isn't longer a bit as this aural splendor passes rather quickly, but otherwise it's an absolute masterpiece meticulously coalescing dreamy stringed magic with rock-infused vigorousness!!! A tour de force effort indeed!!! The next piece, "Downstream II", which clocks over 9-minute mark, returns quickly into warmly grandiose panoramic realms hauntingly coupled with richly euphoric strings. The second third calms down and rides on the wings of ethereal tranquilness before inconspicuously vanishing through mesmerizingly sculpted helixes. Another pinnacle!!! An epic 20-minute composition "Gathering Stars" glides peacefully through heartwarming, yet subtly mindscaping domains, stunningly infinite and intensely enveloping. The listener is constantly overwhelmed by magnificently opaque, powerfully magnifying and thrillingly chameleonic tides. As presented by the artist in the liner notes, this track is made from two live recordings, one from Jeff Pearce's performance at the Gatherings Concert Series in Philadelphia, PA, on October 11th, 2014, while the second one was recorded one day later during a live-to-air performance at famous Star’s End Radio at WXPN studios. This multi-layered wide-screen masterpiece showcases Jeff Pearce at the ultimate peak of his deepest aural meditations!!! The closing composition "Follow The River Home", its title is inspired by Jeff's younger daughter Fiona, incorporates a truly gorgeous, titillatingly sonorous stringed narration, its symmetry with atmospheric blankets hanging above is absolutely gratifying, a true nectar to soothe your body and mind!!!
53-minute "Follow The River Home" CD is another triumphant recording by Jeff Pearce, who is one of the most gifted soundsculptors I know. It's beyond my understanding what he is able to create with his electric guitar and additional effects. I still deeply treasure memories of the day sometime in 1998 when Jeff's "Vestiges" CD arrived into my mailbox after reading a glowing review of his music in Wind and Wire magazine (thank you so much, Bill, you were my hero!!!). Yeah, these were the good old days when sending an airmail letter with a well-hidden USD cash was a quite standard way to obtain your fave CD. That was my first contact with Jeff and his breathtakingly beautiful soundcarving, since then 18 years have passed and I am still as much amazed as I was in 1998. "Follow The River Home" is a superb album and we all must be really grateful for such artistic excellence!!!
Richard Gürtler (Nov 20, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia)