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James Blackshaw/The Glass Bead Game/Review

Hallock Hill / by Hallock Hill

Hard to believe that he can make such stratospheric leaps, but it is safe to say Blackshaw has never sounded better.

Hallock Hill

http://www.hallockhill.net/post/103533646/james-blackshaw-cross-the-glass-be
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4 MAY 2009

By Hallock Hill

James Blackshaw,

The Glass Bead Game (Young God, 26 May 2009)

Young God is hosting this magnificent opening track to Blackshaw’s
forthcoming album. Hard to believe that he can make such stratospheric
leaps, but it is safe to say Blackshaw has never sounded better. The
numerous triplets at play at the opening of this track somehow reinforce
Blackshaw’s emotive streak—and the glissandi on the strings in the
background rise his already powerful melody into a richer place. The
wordless vocals courtesy of Lavinia Blackwall (Directing Hand) are
reminiscent of some of Philip Glass’s best work. But it is Blackshaw’s
guitar that spellbinds—a blistering torrent of notes, melody and, quite
simply, ideas. That final raked chord chills. He is not one to shy away from
writing something beautiful, nor of performing his compositions with grace
and depth.

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