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Cirrus Bay


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Cirrus Bay The Search for Joy album cover
3.65 | 75 ratings | 9 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2014

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Song of the Wind (8:58)
2. Cotton Skies (4:49)
3. Me and Wokara (7:46)
4. Out of the Box (9:28)
5. Waking Wild (8:01)
6. A Door into Yesterday (7:52)
7. The August Zone (4:29)
8. Learning to Fly (12:01)

Total Time 63:24

Line-up / Musicians

- Bill Gillham / guitar, keyboards, mandolin, auto-harp, recorders, vocals, composer, co-producer

- Anisha Norflet / lead vocals (1-3,7,8)
- Sharra Acle / lead vocals (4,5)
- Sarah Sanderson / viola
- Mark Blasco / bass, drums & percussion, vocals, co-producer
- Amy Darby / vocals (5)
- Phil Mercy / guitar solo (8)

Releases information

CD Self-released - 631597209523 (2014, US)

Digital album

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy CIRRUS BAY The Search for Joy Music

CIRRUS BAY The Search for Joy ratings distribution

(75 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(39%)
Good, but non-essential (35%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

CIRRUS BAY The Search for Joy reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lazland
2 stars The Search For Joy, the fourth release by American outfit, Cirrus Bay is, if you believe the ratings and reviews given thus far, a masterpiece of progressive rock. Indispensable. Right up there in the list of incredible albums released in not just 2014, but all time.

This is why, I believe, our ratings and review system here on Prog Archives really needs to be taken with a massive pinch of salt, and why, also, people who frequent this place for some time tend to filter in and out their "trusted reviewers" when deciding whether to part with hard earned cash for a new slab of music.

I have broken with my normal rule for reviewing this one, my normal rule being that I have either purchased an album, or been provided with a copy by the band to review. I am listening to this via Bandcamp as I write.

So, I went to said site, expecting to have my mind blown away. It is safe for you, dear reader, to assume from my tone that I will not be parting with the $7USD price asked for there on that venerable location.

Does that mean this is an appalling work? Well, no. It is just nowhere as good as those (obvious) friends of the band who have taken the time to rate and review would have us believe.

The music is a clear attempt to provide the atmosphere and structure of pastoral Genesis and Renaissance. Anisha Norflet, who provides the bulk of lead vocals, has a pleasant enough voice, if slightly monotone in parts. Project founder Bill Gillham can clearly play his varying guitars, keys, wind, and string, but, the electric guitars especially, leave me rather cold. It is just not particularly original, with Hackett and Howe flashes especially abounding. Likewise, one man rhythm section, Mark Blasco, can play, but not in such a manner as to make me sit up and take notice. There is a viola in there, apparently, but is rather lost in the mix, I am afraid, for most of the proceedings.

Also, I rather loathe it when a band tries to be just that little bit TOO clever, with a change in tempo or key simply to prove one's prog credentials. A good case in point here is A Door Into Yesterday, a track which started off as a very pleasing instrumental, but, half way in, has the most horrendous change from symphonic pastures to appalling, jazzy, noodlings. Quite what was being thought of here is beyond me, because I really rather liked the start (and the very end, a reprise of what came at the start).

There is, of course, another key to masterpiece. Without an exceptionally produced work, I cannot see for the life of me how a listening experience can be anything but a slight disappointment. In this case, it is more than slight, because the production is simply not that good.

The Search For Joy is a pleasant enough way to spend an hour idling away at home whilst the other half watches some tv, but an essential listening experience? Sorry, no.

Whilst I hate to be disparaging to any act we have here, and Cirrus Joy are most certainly an honest and earnest act, I cannot award this as anything more than an album which would appeal to those who simply must own all of this type of music. There is, of course, quite a bit of it out there, so deep pockets will be required.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars This is a very pleasant collection of pretty, melodic songs. Usually based in piano or strummed guitar, the songs provide strong foundations for the steady singing of Sharon Acle. There is an undeniable similarity to the music of 1970s prog heroes RENAISSANCE--though the instrumentalists are not as accomplished or as steeped in the traditions of classical music as John Tout or Terry Dunford. I've found this album much more accessible than their previous release, but I feel the production is still lagging in the quality that one hears from modern musicians. Most of the time the sound and song stylings and moods evoked by In Search for Joy actually have more similarity to the "flower child" music of the late 60s and early 70s--bands like America and The Association (and, I have to admit, Stereolab) playing beautiful songs by composers like Jimmy Webb, Burt Bacharach, Todd Rundgren or Gregg Alexander. Listening to In Search for Joy is like taking a leisurely stroll through the park on lovely summer day. My beef with Cirrus Bay is that, in my opinion, the band has still not yet realized its tremendous potential. All of the musicians are playing it too safe, too straight and narrow, not enough adventurousness and craziness. This is more a like a search for Joy when instead they've stumbled into a permanent state of bliss. Sharon has a beautiful voice--so peaceful and calming. Bill writes very catchy melodies with supportive chord progressions and his keyboard and guitar play is competent. The drumming is solid but metronomic. But where is the vim and vigor, risk and reckless abandon that makes one reach the high joys of ecstasy?

A very nice 3.5 star album that I'm rating down for unrealized potential.

6/17/2020 edit. Over the years, the pleasant hooks and overall upbeat, melodic sensibilities of this album have kept it and several of its songs on favored playlists of mine, which can only mean, in my estimation, that this album is good--very good. Revised rating: bumped up to four stars.

Latest members reviews

5 stars This music is magnificent to my mind. I can understand that not everyone is sensitive to these delicate melodies, these light guitar flights, subtle but never demonstrative, this atmospheric keyboard, this very soft female voice, sometimes insufficiently modulated but all the more attractive, all ho ... (read more)

Report this review (#2741596) | Posted by Kjarks | Wednesday, May 4, 2022 | Review Permanlink

3 stars It's always unfortunate when prog musicians leave us. Such was the case just recently when I heard the news of the passing of Bill Gillham who was the founder and composer of Cirrus Bay. The band was essentially his as the other musicians seem to play more of a supportive role (ie guest musician ... (read more)

Report this review (#2739578) | Posted by AFlowerKingCrimson | Wednesday, April 27, 2022 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is great suprise. I've been playing this record for the last few weeks, as a warm up to their new album. The music reminds me of 70's symphonic rock. I find it weird that their music is in the neo-prog section. It doesn't sound as Marillion or Saga or IQ at all. The music is pastoral and ... (read more)

Report this review (#1610339) | Posted by Kingsnake | Monday, September 12, 2016 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Cirrus Bay has been commercially around since 2008 when they released their first album The Slipping Of A Day. I was a guest vocalist on that debut album. We last heard from this progressive rock band in 2012 with the release of Whimsical Weather. Their music is best summed up as a cross betw ... (read more)

Report this review (#1160684) | Posted by Briaz5000 | Saturday, April 12, 2014 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Bill Gillham takes his sound to the next level on 'The Search For Joy', the fourth and strongest cd to date in the Cirrus Bay catalogue. 'Search' features 8 strong tracks, all with their own identity, with lots of variation not only from song to song, but also within each song, all but two of wh ... (read more)

Report this review (#1160643) | Posted by deedee | Saturday, April 12, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "The Search For Joy" is clearly a beautiful work, with layers and subtleties that require additional listenings. I was amused by the reviewer who was reviewing it as he listened to it for the first time on bandcamp. It took several listens for me to really appreciate the depth and beauty of this alb ... (read more)

Report this review (#1149424) | Posted by brotherjohn | Monday, March 17, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Cirrus Bay returns with their fourth and finest album to date, a significate step up from their last album for a number of reasons. From repeated listens on their bandcamp site, I notice several things right away. First of all, the inclusion of viola in many of the tracks is a wonderful addition ... (read more)

Report this review (#1146560) | Posted by snelling | Tuesday, March 11, 2014 | Review Permanlink

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