RAMP was the second of three stellar albums released by Giant Sand at the beginning of the '90s. It was preceded by SWERVE and followed by CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE. Excellent material and sympathetic, energetic playing unify the trio.
Leader Howe Gelb's songs can be anthemic ("Romance of Falling"), or can quietly celebrate small and delicate moments ("Wonder"). Guest Victoria Williams' harmony vocals on the former make for a bracing mix. Band friend Pappy Allen sings "Welcome to My World," giving an impassioned commitment to every phrase that is mirrored in the band's supple support. Surprises are to be found within almost every song, as well as in the construction of the album as a whole, which follows its own sort of hallucinogenic logic. This album and its two bookends make perfect starting points.