For previous releases 'A huge talent' The Independent 'Magical' Time Out 'Dazzling' Mojo 'A new acoustic guitar hero' The Guardian Dear Spider is as much an album of ideas as it is of music. It uniquely combines it's different elements into a world that ignites the imagination of the listener. It is the fourth recording from Irish guitarist Colin Reid, and reveals his talents more fully than previous releases - on this we see him equally at home as composer, writer and pianist as well as guitarist. The opening tracks Suzi Who?, with it's driving snare and bass riff, and Icarus, with it's soaring violins display dazzling and daring musicianship from all concerned, and immediately set the tone for the album. It is track three, Boy Meets Girl, that draws us into a dark, compelling and disturbing fairy tale. The narrative, spoken by actress Sharon Morewood, describes the poisoning and murder of a pregnant woman, and subsequent drugging of her husband, set to the delicate and eerie sound of an acoustic guitar. The story, set in Ireland, is the prologue to a larger work for later release. The following tracks, the Pink Floyd-esque 'Dear Spider, Love the Fly,' and haunting piano and cello piece 'If Everyone's Eyes Were Closed' continue the fairy tale theme, after which a drastic re-working of Erik Satie's Gymnopodie No 1and original composition The Gift throw some light into the proceedings. Throughout, the playing from the ensemble is stunning, from the disconcerting machine noises of Dear Spider, Love, The Fly to the sublime low whistle of The Gift. In addition, the CD artwork, by Mark Case, is beautiful and sensual. Dear Spider is a very rare thing - a simply 'must have' instrumental album.