The Montreal Gazette

On his eighth studio album, guitarist Cook steps away from his flamenco default and offers 15 moody, easylistening pieces, supposedly inspired by what he considered the spareness of Adele’s smash, 21. On the surface, the disc has an elevator-music smoothness that sends it receding into the background, but Cook’s relentless precision and perfect tonality on the nylon strings will not be denied. There’s an airy beauty to soft, atmospheric tracks like Diminished and Fields of Blue, with quiet blues (I Put a Spell on You), jazz (Miles Shorter) and bossa nova (Child’s Play) broadening the palette. Add the stirring, delicate interplay between Cook’s instrument and Chris Church’s violin and this aural sketchbook becomes an excursion filled with modest pleasures.

Rating: ***

Podworthy: Midnight

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– Bernard Perusse


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