"The recording of this album Nick Webb was finishing being already incurable ill. He couldn't walk for far distances, stay in away-studio for a long time, and therefore all the needed equipment, instruments were taken to Manor House in England where his friend and co-player of AA Greg Carmichael along with Nick and others were making the music we now hear on "Positive Thinking".The feeling of Nick's passing is felt throughout the whole album. It's either some measured minor-key thinking ("Rainwatching W.I.", "Positive Thinking", "Augustrasse 18") or major-key songs, giving us the wish for only positive thoughts (as perhaps Nick had while suffering his dreadful disease; "Passionelle", "The Five Card Trick"), or very quite, smooth pieces like "Time Gentlemen Please", "Vapour Trails".In general, this music shows us again how easily they treated the strings, how almost the simplest melodies become very enjoyable to ear, very melodic and easy to remember. This album is more of acid jazzy style, than the previous ones. Just take "Cadaques", "Augustrasse 18" or "Limited Excess". Very lovely, elegant music with a very soft touch! One of the best of Acoustic Alchemy works."
J. D. Scoble | Helena, Montana | 06/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Outstanding work. The more I listen, the more I think it is one of their best works. I felt at times that they constrained the keyboard accompaniment unlike in the past. I caught myself expecting the piano to take off in several areas and was forced to take in the unexpected simplicity that keeps Acoustic Alchemy so fresh. The keyboard exception was in cut 6 - The Better Shoes - man, is that some rich stuff. Still I am left with the feeling of something ever so slight missing. Maybe it's the knowledge of Nick's passing. Maybe its because Greg and Company so respectfully morn their friend. Positive Thinking is more than an Acoustic Alchemy crossroad piece. It's so haunting and appealing, Cut 8 Augustrasse being a prime example. I can't leave it alone. It is a testament full of emotion and sophistication. A timeless life statement piece."
A Bittersweet Release
Kurt Harding | Boerne TX | 04/30/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Greg Carmichael and Nick Webb made a lot of great music during the years they worked together. Positive Thinking was slated to be their 10th collaboration. Unfortunately, as many of us know, Nick Webb died as this album was being put together, so it was left to John Parsons to fill Webb's very big shoes. Though Webb was not around to play on the CD, he was able to share in the compositions and arrangements. Long-time Acoustic Alchemy fans will be able to feel his touch as they listen through, and that makes this a very bittersweet release indeed.
What's not to like here? The band is tight and inspired, seemingly coming together flawlessly in Webb's memory. For my taste, favorites include the languid Rainwatching W.I.; the Spanish-tinged Cadaques; The Five Card Trick, Auguststrasse 18; and the laid-back jazzy Time Gentlemen Please.
It is unfortunate but inevitable that the band went off in a new direction following the issue of Positive Thinking. Yet its a miracle under the circumstances that this project did not fall through. This is one Acoustic Alchemy CD that should be on every fan's shelf, both for the quality of the music and as a tribute to the power of Nick Webb's positive thinking and determination to see it through."
An outstanding album in typical Acoustic Alchemy fashion
Frank M. Squire, III | PORT SAINT LUCIE, FL USA | 08/25/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I too,like other devoted fans of this fine group will miss the talent of Nick Webb.His creativeness and imagination will live on his music.I can only hope that Greg will carry on his legacy. Their music is always refreshing and inspiring;I own all of their albums and not one has been a disappointment. Whenever I am not in the best of moods,need to relax,or need musical inspiration,I always reach for Acoustic Alchemy first!"