Phil Keaggy

Getting Closer

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Phil Keaggy's Getting Closer, released after his first Private Collection installment, is a disunified piece of work; it is musically adventurous in places and reminiscent of great guitarists (notably Pat Metheny), yet at other moments musically trite and simplistic. And being released on a low-rent record label does not help either. "Sounds" showcases Keaggy's guitar work and includes a reference to Glass Harp's "Can You See Me." Other highlights include "Passport" and the quirky title track. "Where Has Our Love Gone" critiques the American consciousness as uncompassionate and slips a pro-life jab in there as well. "Riverton" features some interesting off-center guitar work, but is backed up by a very dated drum machine which to contemporary ears is abrasive at best. Also recorded here is the original version of "I Will Be There" (later recorded for his Crimson & Blue album); this version is less anthemic and more emotive, and unlike the newer version is in 7/4 time. Frankly, the great moments on this record -- which comprise 90 percent of it -- are absolutely amazing and make it definitely worth the cost of admission. As a unified project, it feels taped together with duct tape.

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