Giant Sky are a side-project created by Soup keyboard player Erlend Viken (here working in a multi-instrumentalist role) and they released this their debut album in the middle of last year. Now, I notice this has been getting some rave reviews in different places, yet to my ears it is somewhat bland, and in opening number “The Further We Go the Deeper It Gets” there are so many Pink Floyd keyboard sounds that it gets somewhat embarrassing. With different singers and drummers on different tracks, this has very much a project feel about it as opposed to a proper band, and suffers for that. There is a lack of continuity within the different songs, so while the opener is Floyd, “Broken Stone” is very much Mike Oldfield, and then the short “Interlude” is more of a classical duet with piano and flute. I am not sure what it is trying to achieve as it meanders with little in the way of direction.
By now I was halfway through the album, and not really looking forward to the second half, and while different ideas were brought forward, for me they just never gelled as they should. The drum section during “No Cancelling This” is not only clumsy but the sound is somewhat muffled and never gets the cut through one would expect. This album has all the issues one can sometimes get with a multi-instrumentalist solo project in that no-one is going to provide clear commentary to the band leader, and consequently the result is something which is undoubtedly clever with good musicianship but never has the clarity and direction one wants. ”Out of Swords” starts with promise, with some wonderfully delicate guitar and vocals, but yet again falls away.
As I said earlier, this has been getting plenty of rave reviews, but it would be boring if we all heard music in the same way, as otherwise we would all be listening to Beyonce or Justin Bieber. A nice production is probably the best thing I can say about this (plus it isn’t Beyonce or Justin Bieber, which really is a bonus in my book).