Robin Guthrie is the unlikeliest of guitar heroes. Yet with his work with the Cocteau Twins, he has influenced everyone from the legendary My Bloody Valentine to shoegazer and ambient groups throughout the world. His solo releases are an extension of his work with the Cocteau Twins. There are no elongated solos or spotlight pieces. The emphasis is on the atmospheric touches that make for captivating headphone listening where the layers may be slowly peeled away. The absence of vocals make tracks such as “Sparkle,” “Delight” and “Search Among the Flowers” musical pieces worth meditating to. The guitar tones are so lifelike, it isn’t unusual to imagine a vocal hidden underneath the reverb, lost somewhere in the echo canyons.  While the pieces are mostly brief and concise, they flow together to create one long composition with a variety of valleys and vistas. Picking a highlight is difficult, but there are shimmering points of melody in the gentle “Close My Eyes and Burn” and the wistful “Waiting By the Carousel” that cause the ears to prick up in attention as little points of sparkling light reflect off this river’s flow.

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