"A few Saturday nights ago, I came home from a night on the town. I was feeling good, not out of my mind, just good, and started scanning my CD collection for something that reflected my mood, the weather, the cold beer in one hand, and the "unmentionable" between the first two fingers of my other hand. It'd been a while since I'd listened to "Strength To Strength" but this album is more than a standby. It's a staple. It's a given. It's a keeper. And so, for what seems the twenty millionth time, I put it on and sat back, waiting to be carried away by this masterpiece of songwriting, musicianship, and poetry. After 8 years, I still absolutely adore "Impermanent Things" and genuinely regard this entire album as a classic. I would need this, before all his other wonderful records, to sustain me as one of my ten desert island discs, were I ever so inclined to need such. Peter Himmelman is an incredibly talented artist who has crafted a number of remarkable albums, but this is....well, this is my baby. This was my introduction to his work (I later went back for GEMATRIA, SYNESTHESIA, and THIS FATHER'S DAY). This was the one that set the bar for all the others, and even tho' they come mighty close and are well worth your time and investment, they aren't FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH. That doesn't necessarily stress their weaknesses; on the contrary...it shows how strong this album is."
Graceful & mysterious
Pieter | Johannesburg | 06/30/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"HIMMELMAN is a singer/songwriter in the tradition of Leonard Cohen or Richard Thompson with echoes of the Canadian Bruce Cockburn. The spiritual nature of the music is expressed in a subtle and intriguingly oblique manner. The air of melancholy is deceptive, an observation that ought to prompt the listener to pay close attention to the lyrics. His special gift for melody shines through in songs like the stirring and profound Impermanent Things, the mystical lullaby Whispering Days and the energetically rocking Only Innocent with its Springsteenian sense of defiance.
Desolate and fragile, the track Phone Call From Chicago reminds me of Nick Drake in its stark guitar and of Sufjan Stevens in its intricately woven imagery. Running Away, a duet with Karen Peris of Innocence Mission, is a compassionate song against suicide that brings to mind Lucinda Williams' Sweet Old World. The catchy Woman With The Strength Of 10 000 Men was the album's only hit; the message of hope is conveyed in extraordinary words and images. There is significantly more to this album than what appears on the surface.
This Too Will Pass ought to be a staple of sound/music therapy. Down to earth and direct, the message convinces because of the exact way it describes the symptoms of immobilizing despair. Certain ambiguities or multiple layers of meaning contribute to the healing effect. Walk On, the opener and closer, articulates the album's main message: "Walk on you weary feet/There can be no thought of surrender, humiliation and retreat/Walk on you weary feet." Rewarding on many levels, From Strength to Strength is one of those albums that grows in grace & truth with the passing years. "
It is always there..
Theodore W. Kostisin | Portsmouth, Rhode Island USA | 08/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"..like a good friend, I can always count on this disc. Enjoyable, thought provoking, touching, tough, gutty...It's the whole package. Hard to draw comparision, but if you like singer-songwriter stuff that can rock some and be beautiful as well - this is disc to have. Have been to 5 of his shows, they are better than any disc. If he is every in Boston again, I'll be one of the fifty in the crowd."
This is an undiscovered gem.
Clark Novak (firstname.lastname@example.org. | San Diego | 12/03/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't know why those guys at Epic couldn't find a way to better promote this man. He writes heartbreaking, real-world lyrics wrapped inside amazing memorable melodies. He's insightful and throughtful. This disc is worth it for "Woman With The Strength of 10,000 Men" alone..."