The Phantom Tollbooth

Music and more from a Christian perspective

Slow down, and have your change ready

Since 1996

Iona peer Hubble-like further into the unseen and give us a sonic Dali landscape painted by Turner: inspired, evocative, and yet conveyed with a breathy mistiness.

This may be surprisingly sub-par for Iona, but its Celtic moments make it well worth its place in the box set.

With its definitive line-up, this is as good as it gets: music full of emotional power, misty moods all mixed up with massive dollops of beauty and wonder.

Leftovers galore here, but it’s all set around the Iona-meets-Local-Hero set, Snowdonia. This is a fine collection, ideal for de-stressing, with the Another Realm bonus disc added on.

Iona was in its stride here, interweaving singable songs with ethereal pieces, but here the shorter songs become more atmospheric, creating a cathedral of sound across the set. And hymns, Jim, but not as we know them.

The Minnesota-based Jayhawks have made their name from some strong songwriting and quality production. This should only consolidate their position.

For those who appreciate the solid song aspect of Iona above the airy, this magnificent concept album about Brendan’s voyage to America, interspersed with more contemporary subjects, is probably their best album – and now even better with a bonus disc.

The music is strong, immaculately-performed pre-prog, incorporating heavy, visceral themes with a pop sensibility…

Kells took the band up that extra gear into a new level, muscular drama meeting moments of exquisite beauty. The companion disc to this re-release features over 30 minutes of fascinating new material.

That these musicians’ initials are MPG is appropriate, since many of these covers get more Miles Per Gallon than the originals…

This great value box set takes all the band’s studio releases and more than doubles them with a fascinating trove of historic sound snippets and alternative versions. It’s going to excite a lot of people.

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