When an ambient record starts out with a churchy organ backed by staticky heavy rain, it's bound to heighten my expectations for the rest of the album. Fortunately, James Devane's self-titled full length does just that. After the lengthy first track, the album journeys into a more dark and spacey atmosphere, for there are certainly darker places than rainy churches when it comes to this genre.
Around half-way through, the album finds itself resting in the more well-known ambient sound that bands such as Northern Valentine and Windy & Carl perfect. James Devane, however, is best when his impressive dark atmosphere is constantly being tampered with by semi-complex guitar figures (for ambient, anyway). The songs are more dense than on your everyday ambient record and there are almost no silences in the album's 40 minutes, but the dreamy melancholy that James Devane strives for is unharmed by this.
Although I might not pass a blind-test, I will make the claim that the 9 tracks are noticeably diverse and especially the omnipresent guitar finds interesting ways to mutate its output. The final two minutes of the album aren't as good as the first two, but as a whole, this CD is great and it serves as a great soundtrack for your thoughts on nothing and everything. 7/10 -- Tobias Corell (1 April, 2009)