Sleepless - _Winds Blow Higher_
(Raven Music / The End, 2001)
by: Aaron McKay (5 out of 10)
I am not a fan of qualifying my reviews from the outset, but with Sleepless I feel I must. This duo from Israel communicates a secret darkness in their degenerative progrock/goth whispers -- that I will not repudiate. Where I falter in my intrigue for Sleepless is with _Winds Blow Higher_'s follow through: there is little congruity and my focus diverges nearly immediately no matter where I begin listening to the album. The low-end (fretless) bass work, especially on the nearly five minute "Sands of Time", is sensorial monopolizing. Sleepless attempts to expand the concept of subdued slumber to an extreme, but fundamentally embedded is a jazz concept that works wonders for David Bendayan and Maor Appelbaum, Sleepless's core members. Another area that disagreed with me is the intermittent use of female vocals. I would have argued vehemently -against- myself on this point before totally digesting _Winds Blow Higher_, but I know the addition of the occasional feminine vocal approach wasn't the way to go. With solid male technique vocally and supremely supported backing vocals, the airiness of anything else clearly misses its mark. As I said, this contradicts everything I would have believed prior to taking in the whole album, but, nonetheless, I find that to be the case. Nine tracks of convincingly progressive atmosphere lay in wait for you if you're the sort for mostly colorless mood-infusions.

(article published 4/12/2002)


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