Climb High - a Collection of Songs Inspired By the Life and Message of Erik Weihenmayer
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||Climb HIgh||Jake Lott||2:37||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Reach||Brenda Yelvington||3:48||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Be Heard||Rachel Fields||3:29||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Hero||Ashlyn Metheny & Grant Nesbit||3:50||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||The Alchemist (These Hands)||Jason W. Johnson||3:29||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Blossom||Brenda Yelvington||2:58||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Friend In You||Cortney Barnhill||2:56||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||That's My Brother||Jason W. Johnson & Brenda Yelvington||3:17||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Voice of the Mountain||Joe Martin||3:20||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||Lifeline||Joe Martin||3:24||$0.99||View In iTunes|
||I See||Brenda Yelvington & Jason W. Johnson||6:31||$0.99||View In iTunes|
Sunshine up the tailpipe
When my wife lost her eyesight a few years ago, Erik Weihenmayer's book "Touch the Top of the World" proved to be an invaluable source of information for helping her get back out and doing just about anything, including hiking, kayaking, and other outdoor activities. She heard about this release the other night and we figured we'd check it out. What we were expecting was stuff that might be similar to the kinds of indie-pop-folksy-alt tunes you hear in Warren Miller's winter sports documentaries or "Babylon" by David Gray which was used at the end the documentary of Erik's Everest summit "Farther than the Eye Can See."
"Climb High" by Jake Lott lives up to this expectation, but the rest of the songs fall short. It should have been a clue that the album is listed under "easy listening." All of the other songs are warbling, oversaccharine melodies that sound like bad covers of Celine Dion songs or the musical version of the kind of movies made by the Hallmark, WE, and Oprah Winfrey networks. To use a phrase from Top Gun (if I recall correctly), the songs "blow sunshine up your tailpipe." That is to say, they're pretty and use nice inspirational platitudes, but ultimately they consist largely of meangingless fluff. They are essentially sympathy cards put to music.
If you dig songs like "Wind Beneath My Wings" then these songs may be more to your taste, and you might find more meaning in them than my wife and I did. She likes some of those Bette Midler/Celine Dion ballad things, but even she cocked an eyebrow at most of these songs. But if you're the kind of person that is looking for inspirational music with driving beats and a message of "when the going gets tough the tough get going" then you're probably better off to look past this album to time-tested favorites like the Rocky V soundtrack and stuff in the vein of alternative metal and even swelling, spirit-lifting instrumentals such as "The Spirit Returns" from the soundtrack to the IMAX film "Everest." (Unfortunately this is not available on iTunes.)
In the end, the album comes off like a lot of the hollow platitudes people give to others who have faced challenges (such as blindness) that the average person finds hard to fathom how anyone could survive such a situation, let alone prevail and go on to greater things - well meaning, but ultimately clueless.