on 9 January 2012
This is a really interesting offering for both established fans and newcomers to Balmorhea. It has a lot of the tracks that you would hope to hear as a representation of their (three-album) studio history to date, but the music is also given some fresh muscle, arrangement and dynamic courtesy of the live drums, string quartet and haunting non-lyrical vocals. At times it sounds like Pat Metheny at his (non-noodling) 'Travels'-era best or a haunting Penguin Cafe. On the whole, though, Live At Sint-Elisabethkerk is all about the post-classical, post-chamber, post-ambient (you get the idea) tunefulness and accessible melodic experimentation that fans have come to cherish. The recording quality is great and the natural acoustics of the church add an interesting dimension. My one criticism: the sleeve notes with the CD are very poor, so we don't get to find out who all the musicians are in an expanded live line-up. Minor gripe for a great CD.