While the music is anchored by piano, its guest vocals and instruments add depth and amplify its emotional intent. “A Journey”, the first and lengthiest of the seven tracks, captivates the listener with its sheer expanse of emotional power. After a volcanic and shaky beginning on the lower registry of the piano, the second movement introduces a motherly warmth. This soon evolves into a movement of hard-panned horn and piano, which then leads to a dark movement submerged in distortion. “A Journey” eventually finishes where it began. This fifteen-minute song sets the tone for the album.
The tracks that follow slowly introduce special elements of instrumentation. The voice in “Come” sounds strained and mournful as it struggles to have enough air to complete its long passages of sorrow. “Peaceful Place” introduces bells that are reminiscent of large chimes hanging outside someone’s cottage, singing away in the breeze. The title track takes a short break from the album by experimenting in free form, allowing the instruments to explore a journey of their own.
Familiar progressions are introduced in “The Journey Goes On”, which also features an exquisite turn on piano. Soon voices filter in and lift the song to unimaginable heights. Together, the two “Journey” songs prove that there is something worthy about pushing the boundaries of the average track length. There is so much more to explore in a song that is allowed to breathe.
The tail-end of the album sounds just like it should: the end of a journey. The stable and confident “Source” surrounds the listener with the sound of bells, which lend guidance to further developments. “Salutation” summarizes the album’s sound and further condenses it into a powerful experience of piano and voice. The song ends the album so beautifully that it is easily tear-inducing. It will demand the listener’s attention.
While music provides many journeys, Insights curls off into a path of its own, inviting the listener to experience 47 minutes of arresting beauty. (Gregory Pappas)