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  • Obviously this disc, John Crosby’s 2nd, is different from the first. It is not as heavy or as raw… but it is still rich enough in textures and emotion for several bands’ repertoire. It’s just an incredible trip from start to finish and I think it is one of the most polished, smooth, perfect listens in all of rock music. It has a melodicity, a harmony, a brilliance to it that is unmistakably VAST.There is a dark, solemn, melancholy feel to the songs, drawing the listener ever closer to the sentiment being expressed. Exemplifying contemporary rock music as deep experience, and all the while attempting to express the profound, the record moves from note to note and song to song effortlessly, while constantly sustaining a rapt attention from the audience. A song like “A Better Place” to me is lyrically, emotionally, and musically on a definitive and definite wavelength alongside the first album’s “I’m Dying.” Ditto “Touched” and “I Don’t Have Anything.” I know just about anyone going through a heartbreak or a lost love can approach the sort of wistfulness and yearning inherent in the mood created by these last two songs.Mr. Crosby’s songwriting is excellent and he is obviously extremely talented. Not many 21 year olds can go into a studio and play almost every instrument on his debut album. It is pleasant to see that his musicianship has not suffered on the sophomore effort, and that his unique sound is still present, despite what must have been an increased recording budget. Notenough has been said I think about not only Jon’s playing, but also his singing, which is very fine, and also the lovely, lush interweaving of ambient, native, ritual, and world music samples and chants. Any Enigma, Enya or even Delerium can do this, but few I’ve heard do it in a rock and roll context. I suppose the last one to do it really well was The God Machine– extinct legends in their own right. In fact the very same “piletze pe” vocal that is sampled in “Touched” is used in The God Machine’s “Home.” (When I met Jon I asked him if he knew The God Machine’s music, because they were the only band whose compositions I can compare the best of Vast to. He said “I’ve heard *of* them, but I haven’t *heard* them.”)In summary you will not go wrong popping this CD in when in one of your darker moods. While not exactly a goth-trip it is a sensual and formal foray into rock and roll’s utter beauty and possibility in talented hands.

    Posted on January 22, 2010