Top positive review
86 people found this helpful
on January 7, 2002
Some thought of Michael the way people thought of Frank Zappa: they wished he'd shut up and play his guitar. I liked to hear Michael sing. For one thing, it gave the guitar-intense side of my brain a few minutes to rest after the intense stimulation it had just received. But I understand the desire for an all-instrumental Hedges album and I give this one a passing grade.
Mind you, if I were compiling favorite Michael Hedges instrumentals, my list would be markedly different than this set list. I consider his first two discs to be his best instrumental work and although three cuts form the first disc (Breakfast In The Field) are included, his tour de force showpiece, "Silent Anticipations", is not. And although five cuts from the second disc (Aerial Boundaries) are included, "Hot Type" is not. I consider these to be glaring omissions and since so much was included from later albums, it would have been easy to make way for them. I guess that after this disc sets the hook in you, you'll be forced to go back and buy all the first two.
Alas, the above is picking nits. Notice that I gave 5 stars for this disc. For those unitiated to Michael Hedges, I have this advice: listen to this CD when you have time to sit and do nothing but listen. Also, crank it up to at least 85 dB. 95dB on the peaks is more like his live shows. He may have been categorized as a New Age artist, but like Leo Kottke, this stereotype was grossly inadequate. Michael was a rocker at heart, but as others have mentioned, he really was not from this planet. At a live show, he once told the audience that he was looking for a label for his music because New Age didn't hack it. I spoke out that he should call his music "Heavy Mental" and he liked it and used it for years. And that's exactly what Michael's music was: Boundless, Incredible, Fantastic, Creative, Very Heavy and Very Mental. He was like a brother to me and I sorely miss him.