Gimmicky - but beautiful playing and writing.
Sam Theiner | Pittsburgh, PA USA | 11/02/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Not only does it take a lot of creative muscle to write and record 12 pieces -60 full minutes - of solo acoustic 12-string guitar. . . it takes a lot of *actual* muscle! But Ant pulls it off here with an aplomb, grace, and exemplary musicianship. Yes, the 12 month/12 song/12 string gimmick is unusually non-tongue-in-cheek for Ant. True, it's a lot to take in in a single listen. Best bet: have some esspresso handy. Ant does seem to include some impressionistic reflection of the "mood" of each month, so perhaps beginning the album with "September" and ending it with "August" would make for better pacing. Still, despite the impressionistic "stillness" of much of the music (i.e. there's no beat, you can't dance too it 8-) the music has a lot of depth.
On most pieces (if not all), Ant seems to be using one sort of alternate tuning or another. Most cleverly, on a couple of pieces, he also tunes one or both of the unison courses (pairs of strings) to different notes, allowing him to play chords within chords within chords. I've never heard anything like it."