Following the success of Michael Hedges' Grammy-nominated Aerial Boundaries, the guitarist took on a new challenge and released Watching My Life Go By, his first recording to feature the musician taking on vocal as well as instrumental duties. Subdued, almost uncharacteristically restrained, Hedges the singer/songwriter doesn't quite live up to Hedges the avant-garde or self-proclaimed "violent acoustic" guitarist. This being the artist's first attempt at a vocal recording, it is understandable that what amounts to a musical learning curve sometimes gets the better of him. But that is not to say that the music of this 1985 Windham Hill release is substandard in a general sense -- quite the opposite, really. However, when compared to Hedges' brilliant instrumental work, there exists only the slightest discrepancy. That being said, there are still moments worth mentioning on this release, chief among them being "Woman of the World" and "Streamlined Man." Both of these tracks feature more confident vocal performances and very insightful lyrics. A bit of a learning experience, Watching My Life Go By might not be Hedges' finest offering; however, the record still features plenty of great performances of heartfelt material.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Jason Anderson