Pat Wictor,
Heaven is So High
& I'm So Far Down

(RiskyDisc, 2006)

Pat Wictor has made a frustrating CD. The opening song, "Heaven is So High," is brilliant and creates an expectation that the disc never fully delivers on. Instead, the CD chugs along, rising and falling like a SUV on a bumpy dirt road. When it hits a straightaway, it moves, but then it goes off the pavement again.

The second song, "Rejoice in My Troubles," for example, kills much of the momentum that "Heaven is So High" has created. "Rejoice in My Troubles" sets up a verse pattern where, in each verse, a different group of people is asked to rejoice in the singers' troubles. The structure makes the song repetitive and predictable.

Not all of it is problematic, though. "You Got to Move," a song by Fred McDowell and the Rev. Gary David, features Red Molly's Abbie Gardner as a duet voice and the song soars. It comes on strong and never falters. When the two singers laugh with joy at the end of it, you understand why. Wictor's CD never quite hits that peak again but still, it provides pleasure.

If all of it lived up to its best parts, Heaven is So High & I'm So Far Down would be a wonderful album.

by Michael Scott Cain
16 December 2006

[ visit the artist's website ]

Buy it from