Farpoint - From Dreaming To Dreaming

Year of Release: 2004
Label: Independent
Catalog Number: SVM104
Format: CD
Total Time: 74:42:00

I sometimes listen to new releases over headphones while working in my office. After the 10 minute mini-epic "Sojourn" finished and the growling Hammond sounds introduced "Nothing At All," someone stepped into the room and frantically signaled for me to take off the headphones. "What?" I asked, annoyed at the intrusion.

"Well I was worried," he said. "You haven't done a stitch of work, and you were just sitting here saying 'Well I'll be damned ? well I'll be damned!'"

You see, in many regions of the world there are progressive bands with a dedicated local following. These bands participate in local prog fests and their devoted fanbase works hard to keep them playing. Only on very rare occasions does one of these bands break its regional bounds. There's no question that with From Dreaming To Dreaming, Farpoint has broken away from its regional cult status, and is ready to stand shoulder to shoulder with the big names in international progressive rock.

If you're familiar with Farpoint's previous record Grace, you'll be wondering about that "international progressive rock" label. My first observation when listening to this new record on that embarrassing day at work was that Farpoint is no longer playing the country-oriented folk prog that launched them. This album is pure progressive rock in every sense of the word. There is melody, musical complexity and high-order musicianship, and it is a wonderfully rewarding listen.

Grace was a fine body of work - but building on the best elements in Grace Farpoint has produced a solid, cohesive body of work that proudly stands up to that most strenuous of tests - multiple replays. And there are several reasons you'll have no trouble playing it again and again: The coordinated shifts from mellow to full-on rock, from keys to bass to acoustic guitar to excellent lead guitar to rich multi-part vocal choruses. The flute and cello duet played over prominent bass, the intricate guitar, bass, acoustic guitar interplays. The effective keyboards that never impose themselves but always provide the atmosphere that imbues each track with the deep sincerity that is a key ingredient to Farpoint's music.

There isn't a dull moment on this CD - it will keep your interest from the moody, spacey keys and samples in the first bars, through the truly excellent 10-minute mini epic, all the way to the end when the CD fades out in the same moody, spacey keys and samples. Clark Boone's vocals are still delivered in his gravely, ballsy style, but it is so much more refined on this album that they'll fine wide appeal. Dana Oxenberg's singing is simply wonderful, and a favorite moment is the duet in "Crying In The Rain" which highlight the contrasts in their styles - the gruff and the soft, the feminine and the masculine, Yin and the Yang.

The instrumentation is rich and layered and it flows from soft dual-instrument sections through to huge walls of sound with bass guitar often taking an interesting lead role and Mike Avins's guitars providing excellent focus.

Besides one or two spots where Oxenberg's vocals are a bit prominent in the mix, the quality of production and mixing are particularly good - which becomes important in those songs which build up to full, multi-layered pieces, and you still feel as if you could reach into the speakers and pick out individual notes and the clarity of every instrument

It's hard to pick out any single moment on the album as highlights - they're all of a similar quality - but track 9, "O Lost," deserves mention. It starts with a twelve string piece played lightly over broody keys and soft bass, then Oxenberg delivers soft, appealing vocals, with Boone's contribution pushed far back in the mix yielding enormous depth. It develops into a gentle, head-nodding ballad with vocals alternating with flute (Oxenberg again), and it ends with a slow, appealing lead guitar solo played over keys and acoustic guitar. Very elegant.

The strengths of From Dreaming To Dreaming lie in its songwriting, its structures and its textures, and above all, the deep sincerity Farpoint brings into each song.

Although I'll swear I wasn't speaking aloud in my office that day, I'll say it now: Well I'll be damned! This album is such an improvement over Grace that it will be heard way beyond Farpoint's home in the south eastern USA. This one will be heard around the world.

Lux Universum Part I (0:59) / Autumn Sky (6:38) / Anything At All (6:16) / Universal Light (4:27) / Here And Now (5:13) / Crying In The Rain (7:11) / Sojourn (10:22) / Nothing At All (5:59) / O Lost (5:58) / Ashley's Song (Sail On) (7:24) / Lux Universum Part II (4:14)

Kevin Jarvis - acoustic, electric, and classical guitars, keyboards, mandolin, bass, and vocals
Clark Boone - lead and backing vocals, 12-string guitar
Mike Avins - lead and rhythm electric guitar
Dana Oxendine - lead and backing vocals, flute
Frank Tyson - bass guitar, vocals
Rick Walker - drums and percussion

Just Like You (2-song ep) (2000)
First Light (2002)
Grace (2003)
From Dreaming To Dreaming (2004)
Cold Star Quiet Star (2008)
Kindred (2011)
Water Of Life - Live At The Sumter Opera House (2012)
Paint The Dark (2014))

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: November 1st 2004
Reviewer: Duncan N Glenday
Artist website: www.farpointband.com
Hits: 664
Language: english


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