Pat Metheny is always up to challenge both himself and his audience, so it's no surprise that his 12th album raises the bar of listener involvement to a new level. The Way Up is a 68-minute composition broken into four suites that aim to express the precise mood and spirit of exactly where Metheny and long-time collaborator/pianist Lyle Mays are at right now. Pompous and self-indulgent? Sure. But the best albums often are. Asking busy listeners to sit still for over an hour may seem like a tall order, but it's time well spent, allowing the disc to reveals its subtle charms gradually. With each subsequent spin you'll hear something you missed before, and it inevitably becomes your favourite part... till the next time.
Pat Metheny Group hit the Hummingbird Centre tomorrow (Friday, February 18).