Michael Hedges

Road to Return

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True to its title, Road to Return is a bit of a musical and spiritual homecoming for virtuoso acoustic guitarist Michael Hedges. At the time of this 1994 release's creative inception, Hedges was becoming deeply involved in yoga, and committed himself to expressing in his music the personal discoveries made through the Eastern exercises and philosophy. Attention to melody and rhythm (elements of music that Hedges claimed to associate more with the heart than the head) became the focal point of these new compositions, while the head-centered technical and harmonic elements were given a lowered priority. Fans of the musician's stunning two-handed, alternate-tuned guitar innovations were a little disappointed by the relatively minimal Road to Return, with its accent on Hedges' newfound vocal stylings. It might seem ironic that, after recording the seminal Taproot with its natural and organically slanted mythology, Hedges felt inclined to "reconnect with the earth," but it's perfectly logical that fewer notes and more specific melodies would in fact lend a purity to Hedges' dynamic new age groove.

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