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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Nature Of Enchantment, 21 Sep 2010
By 
The Wolf (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: All We Grow (Audio CD)
Let us briefly note Sean Carey's work with Bon Iver
and move quickly on. His own album 'All We Grow'
demands our full attention in its own right. It is a
truly magical solo debut full of dreams and delights.

His musical studies at Wisconsin University (classical
percussion) have clearly served him well. His grasp of
compositional technique and the ability to construct
arrangements of considerable complexity is immediately
apparent. The name of the American composer Steve Reich
crops up in a number of critical appraisals of Mr Carey's
work. His occasional use of small thematic building blocks
and restless obligatos certainly shows some degree of
influence from the Master. Other 20th Century "minimalists"
such as Philip Glass and John Adams would also seem
to have made a small mark on his musical imagination but
without subverting that which is uniquely his own.

This is grown-up music. Sophisticated but easily accessible.

I was immediately taken with the two-minute miniature
'Rothko Fields'; the shimmering washes of sound are a
captivating sonic approximation of the experience of
gazing into the saturated depths of one of the great
abstract-expressionist artist's transcendent paintings.
He grasps the immense but fragile and elusive spiritual
dimension of the images perfectly. Enthralling stuff!

Mr Carey has a gentle and affecting voice which brings
warmth and magic to songs such as opening track 'Move',
a composition which rises like a ray of sunshine from
its ambiguous and somewhat unsettling introduction.
The harmonies he lays down over the pretty acoustic
guitar accompaniment are quite delightful.

So too on the rhythmically chattering number 'We Fell'.
Against a solidly repeated piano motif the luminous
vocals spin and whirl and turn like stars cascading
across the deep inpenetrable darkness of a midnight sky.
The textural density of the piece increases little-by-little
and we are swept along helplessly but willingly with it!

'In The Stream' is a stripped-down hypnotic mantra whose
haunting melody is among the lovliest inventions to have
been given life and breath in the listening world this year.
Music of beguiling simplicity but enormous emotional power.

The intense intimacy of final track 'Broken' is nothing if not
sublime. It wraps itself around your heart and won't let go.

'All We Grow' is an astonishingly confident achievement by
a gifted composer who understands the nature of enchantment.

Essential.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars inspirational album, 28 Sep 2012
By 
P. Cottom "petercottom" (Birmingham UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: All We Grow (Audio CD)
This album is a real delight. Great rhythms, melodies and tunes from Sean Carey, superbly recorded, sung and played. I recently watched a vid of Sean and Justin at AIR studios, the two of them playing songs from Blood Bank - just two grand pianos and their wonderful voices. You can see much of that feeling and style here. I also get a real sense of the Pat Metheny Group (which I love) in the rhythms, tuned percussion and arrangements. It's one to really get 'lost' in. No doubt it will be criminally under-exposed and so many people will miss out on the chance to enjoy. If you've only listened to Bon Iver's albums, then jump in here - you're missing a real treat.
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5.0 out of 5 stars inspirational music, 9 Jun 2012
This review is from: All We Grow (Audio CD)
The music on this album is so atmospheric and you can tell that the songs aren't forced; they have catchy sections that you just want to listen to over and over but they are all part of the journey the song takes you on. Each song is brilliant and Carey does well with the fact that the thoughtful piano he adds does not become repetitive with each song. Carey was part of Bon Iver's tour team and then left to do pursue music individually. This album in my view, is better than Bon Iver's work. Overall, my favourite album at the moment and a phenomenal accomplishment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 11 Dec 2014
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This review is from: All We Grow (Audio CD)
late review - but great purchase
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All We Grow
All We Grow by S. Carey (Audio CD - 2010)
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