Wind and Wire review~ The Unreachable Sky 2003

Wind and Wire

Review by Bill Binkelman

Full review:

Review of The Unreachable Sky (2003)

“… Here’s an intriguing album comprised of both instrumental and a few vocal tracks. Jo Gabriel plays piano, electric guitar, and keyboard samples and is possessed of a singing voice that reminds me of a combination of Joni Mitchell and Tori Amos; she has that combination of raw human emotion and a multi-octave range that either appeals to a person or doesn’t. I doubt that anyone who hears her on the several vocal tracks will have a neutral reaction. Myself, I found her style intensely intimate and well-suited for integration with the somber and minimal piano-driven instrumental songs …”

“… While some songs feature prominent use of sampled instruments, Gabriel’s piano is far and away the main attraction here, and she has the chops to make it worthwhile listening. If you usually find “new age” music piano to be too sweet and undemanding, you won’t have that reaction here, trust me. Yet, seldom is The Unreachable Sky inaccessible or abrasive. Unconventional, yes, but not overly formidable …”

“… On the whole, though, The Unreachable Sky is worthwhile if you enjoy moody piano music, along with some sampled keyboards (mostly strings) and a few vocal tracks here and there. I don’t know that you could classify this as ambient music, and it sure isn’t new age or adult contemporary. In some ways, it cleaves closer to neo-classical, especially with how Gabriel plays her piano (her technique really is quite good). There are also some avant garde elements and a bit of Projekt-type goth/shoegazer mixed in there as well …”


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