The Glass Bead Game


Universal acclaim - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. The Glass Bead Game is the most forward-thinking and sublimely executed of James Blackshaw's releases to date.
  2. 90
    At the piano bench for the poignant ballad 'Fix' and the stunning, assured finale 'Arc,' Blackshaw makes you forget all about his guitar and your earthly cares.
  3. He’s done it again with The Glass Bead Game, bringing other players and new noises into his sound that push his playing to new heights. As if his old heights weren’t high enough.
  4. While the center of Blackshaw’s compositions will likely always be guitar, he has shown with this album that he can write music for several different instruments and do so incredibly well.
  5. Uncut
    Blackshaw creates multiple orchestral effects with his instrument alone, each strum resounding like multiple windchimes. [Aug 2009, p.87]
  6. Mojo
    The Glass Bead Game sees him broadening his palette to even greater effect. [Aug 2009, p.96]
  7. He’s on his way to building a grand monument to the craft he and so many before him have lovingly treated; he just needs to make sure each marble block is absolutely pristine before putting it down.
  8. Blackshaw's musical ideas are interesting enough that it's easy to see his piano pieces progressing as his technique comes along, opening another avenue to explore his musical concepts.
  9. Parts of Litany were pretty but kind of dull, and The Glass Bead Game is similarly afflicted. Blackshaw’s easy development seems to have reached a plateau.

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