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Nothing Above My Shoulders but the Evening

19 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 28, 1993
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$19.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 1 left in stock. Sold by CAC Media and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Ray Lynch ~ Nothing Above My Shoulders But

Amazon.com

In explaining the title of his fourth recording, Ray Lynch writes in the recording's liner notes that it "refers to the inexplicable feeling of headlessness. What is left when there is no thinking? Just the body, feeling, being, enjoying." Make of that what you will, keeping in mind that the phrase (plus three other song titles) come from the writings of spiritual guide Da Avabhasa. As for the music, it involves Lynch (classical guitar, harplike keyboards) and a handful of musicians from the San Francisco symphony (violin, cello, and assorted horns get the most exposure) cultivating a gentle soundtrack for the vision of rapture playing in Lynch's imagination. For anyone not fully tuned into Lynch's wavelength, it is generally an unremarkable journey that nevertheless offers some pleasant moments, particularly the opening, quietly melodic journey for guitar ("Over Easy") and the Western guitar twang Lynch slips into the soft classical latticework of "Mesquite." Lynch has a following, as evidenced by the enthusiastic consumer reviews that accompany this offering. If you, as a mainstream music listener, intend to join it, bring only modest musical expectations. --Terry Wood

1. Over Easy
2. Her Knees Deep In Your Mind
3. Passion Song
4. Ivory
5. Mesquite
6. Only An Enjoyment
7. The Vanished Gardens Of Cordoba

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 28, 1993)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Windham Hill/Sbme
  • ASIN: B000000NJX
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #449,532 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 23, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Produced in 1993, this was to be Ray Lynch's last commercial album. In a career that started out in classical and medieval music, Lynch eventually took a musical journey that took him into 'meditation' music, electronic popular forms, and, finally, back to his acoustic roots. This eclectic collection is a reprise of his forms, with a few unexpected adventures.
Even a cursory listen reveals that his electronic repertoire has moved into second place. Instead, Lynch makes use of his own instrumental skills in tandem with a stellar collection of performers, mostly from the San Francisco Symphony. What you get is still unmistakably Lynch, but with a twist. The instrumentation leaves you unsure if this is intended as 'popular' or 'serious' music - but I suspect that Lynch wanted exactly that conflict so that the listener must fashion his own responses.
Or not, as the case may be. The album title, of course, is a giveaway. We are being invited to listen without the intervention of our heads. A challenge under any circumstances, and Lynch has no intention of helping us by presenting music with uncomplicated content. But whether you think or just react, there is something here which makes this album special.
Not everything here will please any particular listener. I found Ivory to be one of the best compositions Lynch has ever created. Yet on the same album is Mesquite which, to me, is a uncomfortable parody of Southwestern styling. In between lies everything both sincere and pompous. And yet, if you listen carefully, you will here little turns and phrases obviously intended to bind everything together as a whole.
An interesting album, that makes no excuses for itself. Perhaps, going headless is a good idea.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Harry Housley on June 17, 2005
Format: Audio CD
In 1993, while many notable contemporary and electronic music acts like Tangerine Dream seemed to be musically lost in a maze of high-tech digital synthesizers, pumping out commercial beat-oriented tunes. Ray Lynch released NOTHING ABOVE MY SHOULDERS and I purchased it; anxious to hear what direction his music had taken. Expecting more DEEP BREAKFAST and NO BLUE THING sonic pleasures, I was miffed over the lack of three-minute tunes, replaced instead by longer pieces, some almost classical. After several listens I began to appreciate this CD. As with most great music, (IMHO) beauty and meaning is not always immediately apparent, (a.k.a., Mike Oldfield's Hergest Ridge, one of my favorites of all time.) Rich with traditional instruments, including delicate piano, airy flutes and acoustic guitars, Nothing Above My Shoulders presents a collection of Ray's most introspective work (IMHO). OVER EASY begins the CD with a laid-back sounding tapestry of guitars, crisp and biting yet smooth and effortless. HER KNEES DEEP brings us classic Lynch song-writing with its heavenly chord progressions. The beautiful melody builds into a powerful climax, full of wonder and awe. Listen to this while watching a sunrise or sunset and you'll know exactly what I mean. PASSION SONG takes me back in time as I picture Mozart playing his harpsichord. Sonorous violins, and oboe (I think) and piano begin interacting, gently and melodically just before RL's unmistakable musical climax arrives in a rich three-dimensional soundstage. IVORY graces the ears with another delicate but heart-felt piano/flute masterpiece that is deeply contemplative. MESQUITE is a delightful surprise, playful and romantic. Again, RL let's his listener share in the evolution of the song as it builds and then subsides.Read more ›
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Willow on January 30, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is my favorite Ray Lynch CD of all time! Instead of using synthesizers like he did with his previous albums, Ray Lynch uses classical instruments for his compositions, which makes for some very breath taking music. While Ray Lynch's music has always been very visual for me, the use of the classical instruments adds an element of refinement and grace that is not as evident on his other albums. I absolutely love this CD and wish Ray had put out more like this one!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 7, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Complex patterns and harmonies. Humor. Drama. And much much more in this music. Listening is like eating a Cordon Bleu meal. Feast your ears on this one. Talk about satisfaction. Yum!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Linda Cloutier on September 13, 1998
Format: Audio CD
This album has the unique capabiliy to transport the listener to another time and space. The virtual melodic harmonies merge into one long heart-throbbing, soul-searing blend. The mind wants to cry out with the beauty of this music. There is a mathematical precision to this work that creates a oneness with the universe..
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Stephen T. Wilson on January 10, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Nothing Above my Shoulders' is generally an album of moods, from the upbeat `Over Easy' to the slightly mournful but reflective `The Vanished Gardens of Cordoba'. A beautifully composed album easily suited for those quiet moments of introspection. "Her Knees Deep in your Mind' with its subtle melancholy harmonies sinks deep in your heart as well. And in `Mesquite', Mr. Lynch provides us with an additional boost to our senses. You can almost smell the aroma of sage in the air, and coffee boiling on a campfire as you listen. A restful album to enjoy free from distractions, well worth adding to your collection.
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