FOR THE EDGE OF HEAVEN:
"GARY LUCAS GOES MOSTLY ACOUSTIC AND DELIVERS A GORGEOUS SET OF
SONGS...WITH MELODIES THAT HAVE THE RING OF STANDARDS, THESE SONGS ARE
LIKELY TO FIND A PLACE IN YOUR MEMORY."
"ONE OF THE MOST MESMERIZING DISCS THAT WE'VE HEARD LATELY...SEDUCTIVE
AND FULL OF LONGING."
|Daedalus Books Catalogue, Winter 2003|
"LUSH MID-CENTURY CHINESE POP LUCAS REVIVES SO EXQUISITELY...an
intriguing Chinese New Year meeting of fleet-fingered guitarist and cool
pipa (Chinese lute) virtuoso Min Xiao-Fen, who also happens to sing."
|Village Voice concert pick, 2/2003|
"GARY LUCAS—CHARMINGLY ODDBALL POP SONGWRITER, MUSICAL WORLD TRAVELLER,
UTTERLY HELLACIOUS GUITARIST—IS PERHAPS AT HIS MOST HELLACIOUSLY,
CHARMINGLY COSMOPOLITAN ON THIS FRANKLY AMAZING ALBUM...WHICH INCLUDES
JAW-DROPPINGLY VIRTUOSIC FINGERSTYLE GUITAR ARRANGEMENTS. VERY HIGHLY
"4 STARS...LUCAS MAKES SUBLIME CHINESE CONNECTION...his dexterity has never been doubted. 'The Edge of Heaven' has him focusing all his attention on China's gracefully melodic pop tradition of the 1940s and 50s. Lucas lets his respectful acoustic, electric and national steel guitars do the translating on this delightful set."
"A GORGEOUS TRIBUTE TO THESE BYGONE VAMPS CHOW HSUAN AND BAI KWONG...IF YOU LIKE THE SUPERB SOUNDTRACK TO WONG KAR-WAI'S 'IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE'—YOU'LL LOVE THIS."
|The Independent (UK), 4/2002|
"AN ETHEREAL DISC, BRIMMING WITH NOSTALGIA, THREADED WITH BRILLIANTLY EXECUTED ARPEGGIOS ON THE NATIONAL STEEL GUITAR...he throws himself into Chinese pop music from the beginning of the 20th century with elegance, brio, and an audacious sense of experimentation...ONE OF THE MOST CAPTIVATING RECORDS OF 2002."
|Liberation (France), 4/2002|
"TOO BEAUTIFUL TO BE TRUE...CLOSE TO THE EDGE OF HEAVEN."
|Jazz Podium (Germany), 3/2002|
"GARY LUCAS IS A GOD ESPECIALLY WORSHIPPED BY GUITARISTS...'THE EDGE OF HEAVEN' SHOULD WELL MEAN HIS BREAKTHROUGH TO A MUCH WIDER AUDIENCE. Lucas outdoes as a guitarist everything he has done until now—breathtakingly beautiful."
|De Volkskrant (Holland), 5/2002|
"WORLD CD OF THE WEEK, 5 STARS—Lucas is a consummate player and brings out the full lyrical beauty of these strong tunes while filling them with tumbling runs of picked notes and luscious chords in resonant open tunings. It's difficult to describe the strange, fresh pleasures of this music; suffice to say it really is unique and the title is no exaggeration."
|Birmingham Post (UK), 4/2002|
"HAUNTING AND EVOCATIVE CHINESE SONGSCAPES (AND MUCH, MUCH MORE)."
"A TRICKY PROJECT WITHOUT BEING ELITIST, SUICIDAL IF IT WERE IN THE HANDS OF ANYONE ELSE, BUT PERFECTLY EXECUTED. NOT ONE CUT THAT ISN'T
GOOD—EVERYTHING HERE DISPLAYS EXCELLENCE. THIS MAJOR GUITAR (ANTI) HERO AT THE CROSSROADS OF CHINESE POP AND SOUTHERN COUNTRY, PRODUCES A MASTERPIECE IMMEDIATELY DESTINED FOR IMMORTALITY."
|Rock and Folk (France), 2/2002|
"WITHOUT QUESTION THE MOST INTERESTING AND CHALLENGING GUITARIST PLAYING TODAY....Lucas has realized the project—brilliantly. Gary has been threatening to make a record this unified and with such immediate appeal (try not humming the tunes after one listen) for a while. His humour and jaw-dropping techniques here blend with a devotee's enthusiasm for the music...ONE OF THE THREE BEST GUITAR ALBUMS EVER MADE. IT'S THAT GOOD."
"IT IS SIMPLY GORGEOUS...played by a guitarist who learned his chops in Kowloon's dive bars before unleashing his skills with Beefheart. Lucas grew up as a guitarist in Asia, so this is no dilettante's stop-gap."
"THE MUSIC IS ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL AND UNAFRAID...unfolds like fingery wisps of steam, Lucas's ringing notes wandering and searching with inhuman reach. Earthy and skittering...beautifully rendered. Most impressively, Lucas shades in the unspoken sentiments of these pop verses, the plaintive wails and agonizing back and forth implied in the originals."
"A DECADENT TREAT FALLEN FROM THE SKIES...A CONCENTRATION OF GLAMOUR.
FROM SILKEN MELODIES...ONE OF THE BEST ALBUMS OF 2001...a guitarist with an exceptional touch."
|Liberation (France), 12/2001|
"A SURPRISING ENCOUNTER, ELEGANT AND EXOTIC, BRIDGING TWO CULTURES-YOU HAVE TO HEAR IT TO BELIEVE IT."
|Jeunes a Paris (France), 12/2001|
"A FREE ELECTRON, ABLE TO ACCOMODATE UNIVERSES AS DIVERSE AS THE BLUES, EXPERIMENTAL, JAZZ, ROCK 'N ROLL, AND JEWISH MUSIC...his fingerpicking and slide guitar create bittersweet romances with a delicate perfume."
|Les Inrockuptibles (France), 12/2001|
"THE CENTERPIECE OF HIS RUSTIC, DREAMY NEW DISC...where his blissed-out
steel-guitar musings take on a charm that has everything to do with the
predominating melodic simplicity. LUCAS MAY BE THE ONLY CAT ALIVE WHO
KNEW THAT CHINESE MUSIC AND THE BLUES HAD SOMETHING IN COMMON."
|Time Out New York, 11/2000|
"LUCAS UNLEASHES THE MUSIC FROM ITS ASIAN MOORINGS AND BRINGS IT ALL BACK HOME TO THE BLUES...giving almost all these melodies an earthy, country-blues bent....YOU WON'T GET MUCH CLOSER TO PARADISE THAN THAT."
|The Village Voice, 11/2000|
"THE TUNES DON'T LEAVE YOUR HEAD...the Oriental sounds blend with the most ancient kind of music, the blues—and the fusion enriches the genre and makes an enticing mixture of cultures,"
|Marianne (France), 10/2001|
"FROM SILKEN MELODIES, HE EMBROIDERS COMPLEX AND ETHEREAL GUITAR SOUNDS, WORKING THE SONOROUS MIXTURE WITH CONSTANT INVENTIVENESS."
|Liberation (France), 11/2001|
"THE ROAD LEADS TO A MASTERPIECE, AND TO HEAVEN."
|Le Parisien (France), 11/2001|
"A MOST EXQUISITE BITTERSWEET TASTE."
|Temoignage Chretien (France), 10/2001|
"A CREATIVE WORK BEYOND NORMS...FASCINATING, FAR FROM LINEAR PATHS AND MUCH LABORED APPROACHES."
|Jazz Magazine (France), 11/2001|
"AN ENCHANTING ALBUM...A TREASURE."
|Vibrations (France), 11/2001|
"LUCAS HAS BEEN PUTTING OUT ALBUMS OF THE GREATEST INTEREST FOR 20 YEARS...totally surprising, an album whose harmonies have a delicacy that is almost childlike, evoking a fairytale world that entices one to escape."
|Guitar and Bass (France), 12/2001|
"GUITARIST WITHOUT PEER, LUCAS IS A GENIUS OF TRANSGRESSION—the guy tries everything and almost always succeeds, such is his facility in translating his desires onto the guitar."
"A PALANQUIN OF DREAMS THAT TAKES YOU VERY FAR FROM THE RIVERBANKS OF CONVENTIONAL MUSIC PRODUCTION."
|Les Echoes (France), 12/2001|
"UNDER THE MAGIC OF HIS FINGERS, CHINESE MELODIES GLIDE IMPERCEPTIBLY INTO COUNTRY MUSIC, FOLK AND BLUES."
|L'Independant (France), 10/2001|
"HE PLAYS IN THE KEY OF SUBTLETY AND HARMONY...with his guitars he explores new musical territories. He creates a personal music. HIS ALBUM IS ELEGANT, RACY AND SOMEWHAT MAGICAL. HE SEDUCES TOTALLY."
|La Montagne (France), 10/2001|
"RIGHTFULLY CONSIDERED ONE OF THE MOST TALENTED GUITARISTS...as far as his musical ideas go, he avoids exoticism and performs with cool humour and his ability to recollect 6-stringed history with roots in the blues."
|Le Monde (France), 11/2001|
"THE EDGE OF HEAVEN" IS A RAINBOW EXTENDED ACROSS THE PACIFIC...the instrumentation is flawless, the musicality of the Mandarin language finds empathetic echoes in celestial arpeggios of a polyglot guitarist."
|Le Maine (France), 9/2001|
"A SURPRISING DISC...A UNIQUE STYLE FOR A DIVERSE ALBUM."
|L'Independant (France), 9/2001|
"LUCAS' GUITAR IS MARVELOUS...whether acoustic, electric or steel guitar, you sense a musician in his element—it's a pure style, and a real discovery."
"AN ESSENTIAL ALBUM, UNPREDICTABLE AND DELICIOUS...he delivers a precious music, gripping and sentimental, dominated by the charm of these deliciously old-fashioned songs, and the bluesy and incisive accents of his omnipresent guitar."
|La Terasse (France), 10/2001|
"LEAVE IT TO THE GUITAR WIZ GARY LUCAS TO FIND ANOTHER CORNER OF WORLD POP TO CULTIVATE FOR PURE PLEASURE. This time he turns to the seductive sound of pre-and postwar Chinese film music, with a vocalist providing the necessary note of feminine longing."
|The New York Times, 8/2001|
Chosen as one of the BEST ALBUMS OF 2001 by LIBERATION (France) and by JAZZ MAGAZINE (France)
#1 on the World Music Charts, CIUT-FM, Toronto, Canada, Feb. 25, 2002