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Album Review: In Her Hands
John Mills
Cover image of the album In Her Hands by John Mills
In Her Hands
John Mills
2012 / New Market Music (licensed 2016 with Eversound)
40 minutes
Review by Michael Debbage
Transitioning from the bare essential playing of Mills’ debut Hallowed Moon to the light embellishments found on his follow up Still Gazing At The Moon it was interesting to see where the guitarist would go this time. Apparently his latest recording In Her Hands merges both worlds however there are a few tracks here that make this his most immediate and optimistic recording to date.

This is certainly true of the opening track “More Joyful” whose title clearly mirrors the jubilant mood in Mills writing and performance. With an almost exuberate chorus that also includes handclapping and a clay pot drum, this is without a doubt his most immediate memorable composition to date. While the tempo is nothing compared to the opening track, “Sun, Shine” and “Dance Lirael, Dance” also shows elements of Mills in a more joyful disposition.

That is not to say that the remaining tracks are dower but just Mills performing in more reflective and meditative mood that we are more use to. There is the gorgeous “If Only” and the title track that finds Mills guitar intertwining with Helen Mountfort’s celestial cello work. Add the likes of the more stripped down reflective “Autumn” and the wandering “Goodnight” that takes over 5 minutes to close out the album and you have all the elements of another winning John Mills recording.

From 1999 to 2012 this Australian guitarist has only managed to complete three recordings and this is an extraordinarily slow pace in creating material. But considering the startling consistent pensive pleasures that Mr. Mills unequivocally delivers over and over with his high quality recordings, frankly he can take as long as he wants.
October 20, 2016
More reviews of John Mills albums
Cover image of the album Hallowed Moon by John Mills
Review by Michael Debbage
Cover image of the album Still Gazing at the Moon by John Mills
Review by Michael Debbage