John D. Reedy The Great Long Distance

John D. Reedy The Great Long Distance
6
Described as "an audible recollection of the first 12 months of a long-distance relationship," London-based John D. Reedy's second release delivers a piano-driven ambient composition for each of those months.
 
There are several lovely moments here. Reedy plays low, resonant keyboard lines that hold the 12 pieces together in a kind of unhurried haze. Tracks like "Athens International" and "Heathrow/Stansted" are moody and — if you're in the right frame of mind — poignant. "Dreams of Athens" and "30 Days" both demonstrate a compositional sense that shows potential. Reedy writes music in layers, and when those parts come together effectively (and they often do), the result is stirring.
 
That's undercut somewhat, though, by the limited scope of the album — these compositions deserve a bigger budget. This is a good ambient music album that could have been a great modern classical music album. It's small where it should be big, so while it's understated in all the right places, each time the energy begins to build, the modest instrumentation seems to hold it back.
 
For all the quiet moodiness, this is a more complex record than it appears on first listen. You can hear Reedy trying to punch through, but he never quite gets enough muscle behind it. It feels safe to say that if money were no object, this work would knock his audience flat. (Independent)