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Pat Metheny - Pat Metheny Group: The Way Up CD (album) cover


Pat Metheny


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.22 | 237 ratings

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2 stars When I'm not particularly enthused by an album I like to argue that with more then just the "it's not really my thing" excuse. But in case of Metheny's The Way Up it will be hard to find any faults with the music. The inspiration flies high, the musicianship is tight, dynamic, virtuoso even but never indulgent. It abstains from soloing and it's always purposeful. Nice! It's just ... well ... a bit too nice and safe for my taste.

The band plays a type of fusion that is more conservative then the wild and exciting stuff released in the 70-75 period. The melodies are kept mellow and agreeable, never dark, challenging or unsettling, making sure not to intrude on the coziness of your living room.

More problematic is that the music is never explorative, not in finding new sounds, nor in harmonic structures or new forms. It all goes back too much to the jazz of the 50's, abstaining from the free-jazz influences that marked the fusion of the early 70's that I tend to get excited about. I also miss the mysterious atmosphere of some of his older works such as the Watercolors album. The reason is probably the melodious emphasis of the music on The Way Up. Watercolors was mostly more abstract and suggestive.

It's a good album for sure, building a nice easy going loungey atmosphere that will appeal a lot to you if you prefer your music to be esthetic and pleasant. But by the look of it I prefer the stuff with rougher edges and more intense atmospheres.

Bonnek | 2/5 |


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