David Tibet throws himself heartfirst into a single-pointed meditation on loss which is perhaps his finest work to date.
He embraces the painful matter of his father's death with a poignant gentleness, without ever turning away from his own grief and sadness, without once denying the apparent meaninglessness of human suffering, and yet, almost miraculously, without ever surrendering his quiet hope that there may be some peace in death, some small beauty in this world, and some hidden final meaning behind unbearable loss. In following an inner vision towards a goal which is quite far from concern with entertainment or image, he has managed to create an album which is both accessible and entertaining (although hauntingly so). Unflinching attention to the particular and the personal has here accomplished the great art of transmuting a private meditation into a universal elegy, capable of containing, illuminating, and assuaging our own private griefs, both small and large. For me this album serves as a rare reminder of the transformative power and purpose of music, and an affirmation that, while words often abandon us to isolation when we are most in need of them, a true poet is capable of the most exquisitely precise communication. "What drives us on?" Sleep offers refreshing balm to those who didn't even know they needed it. It is never preachy, loud or pushy, but with quiet insistence this masterful work drives us to look into blackness, and to see through it into light.