Keith Christmas

Acoustica

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    5
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Keith Christmas plays all of the layers of acoustic guitars on this instrumental album, creating an impressively overlapping, reverberant, and multi-textured sound. Although his abilities as a player are very high, he's not as good a composer as he is a technician. Blending folk, jazz, and fainter streaks of new age and blues, the songs have a haunting ambience. But at the same time, there's also a little bland precision to their execution and intricate progressions, with intellectual reserve the prevailing mood rather than imaginative passion. Not quite new age instrumental music, it does have some of the soothing qualities associated with that genre. Although it's full of shifting melodic ideas, a certain sterile flavor and evenness of temperament work against keeping an attentive grip on the proceedings for the entire 46 minutes.

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