On its surface, Elemental Journey is extremely listenable rock that isnâ€™t bombastic, experimental, nor seemingly innovative. Many tunes like â€śHeavy Heart Risingâ€ť and â€śWonderideâ€ť sound like basic melodies in search of lyrics. But the smooth musicality of the offerings mask the complexity of the tight compositions weaving textures below the solos. The placement of the occasional strings, for example, add surprising dramatics under the electric instruments. And, of course, Landrethâ€™s trademark slide work, blended with his distinctive picking, provides depth and bended notes that donâ€™t always sound like they come from typical guitar tunings.
So Elemental Journey is straight-forward entertainment as well as deceptively thoughtful musicianship. This isnâ€™t the blues—itâ€™s an affirming, triumphant declaration of how six strings and friends can tell tales without words. Elemental Journey is a soundtrack that movie listeners will need to visualize for themselves.