August 21, 2019

New Age Progressive Dance Review: Paul Avgerinos-Devotion

Release Date: August 16, 2019
Label: Round Sky Music

I would be willing to bet you have never heard a new age recording like this! Devotion is a new age progressive dance album. I think Paul Avgerinos just created an entirely new genre! I have heard many eclectic recordings this year that fall into the new age category but I have to say that this was very unique and exciting to hear.

Devotion is a superb album because it takes ancient teachings and mantras and makes it all fresh for an entirely new audience. I think that is the point here: to make it more accessible and Paul certainly did this in the ten tracks on the CD.

This makes new-age meditations fun and energy driven, instead of meditating you will want to dance. But who’s to say you cannot mediate while dancing? Why not? It’s fun, relaxing, and it all has a very strong meaning. Everyone has different ways to learn and absorb things and this is a recording that is a perfect example of that approach.

Devotion is very exceptional in many ways, and after listening to this album you will never forget the name Paul Avgerinos. Paul has also done two albums with Deepak Chopra and I am familiar with the work of both men so right from the start there was a comfort level for me as a listener.

I am continually in search of something new and fresh to listen to and Devotion was just what the doctor ordered for this patient. I just survived another heart issue so I think the universe is trying to deliver a very important message to me. I am alive and well for a reason and I must reach an inner understanding of my true purpose. Music like this always gets me on the right path to the realization of self. This is something we all need and the reason why many of us enjoy music like this!

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
August 19, 2019

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Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
01. Ganesha
02. Hanuman Sharanam
03. Lalita
04. Only Love
05. Hare Krishna
06. Jaya Ram
07. Shanti Mantra
08. Om Namah Shivaya
09. Om Guru Mata
10. Jai Jai Ma


August 13, 2019

New Age Meditation Review: Crystalline Dream-Seventh Chakra

Release Date: July 1, 2019
Label: Independent
Website



The seventh chakra is a tool that helps us communicate with our spiritual nature and access higher levels of knowing. Finding an entire album of tracks devoted to that very important chakra is a good way to tune in and allow the gateway to open and allow knowledge and healing to take its natural course.

Seventh Chakra is the most recent release from Crystalline Dream, their fourth proper release. The driving force behind these projects is Richard Ross, a very talented and diverse musician. He also runs a full-service recording studio called Threshold Studios.

Richard holds a Master’s Degree in Music Composition so it looks like he has all points covered to compose, create, and record music as he sees fit. And above all, he has the natural talent to employ the combination of those skills and education to create some beautiful music.

The seven tracks included on this recording are ranging in tempo and texture and employ various instruments. The diverse array of sounds presented makes this album very interesting and enjoyable. Upon first listen, you don’t know what to expect. I was very pleased with the selections and how the track titles meshed so well with the audio and vibration levels. The variety on Seventh Chakra is what makes it such a strong release. The music is a tool to reach a higher level of consciousness thus the perfect title and number of tracks!

Amazing people like Richard Ross are a gift to the universe and should be cherished and appreciated. The music this man creates is a slice of heaven and the kind of sounds that will allow you to separate yourself from the material and physical worlds and focus entirely on meditation to a higher level of clarity. It is always up to each listener however this is my belief of what this music can accomplish for you.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
August 11, 2019


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Tracks:
1. Grounding
2. Sensual Waters (feat. Peter Phippen)
3. Inner Will (feat. Korey Ross)
4. Unstruck Heart
5. Inner Voice (feat. Alex Kelly)
6. Subconscious (feat. Alex Kelly)
7. A Thousand Petals of Light

August 7, 2019

Instrumental New Age Review: Jill Haley-The Winds of Badlands

Release Date: May 17, 2019
Label: Coranglais

Jill Haley and I go back to 2014 and her Mesa Verde Soundscapes recording. She is a sought-after musician and can be found on many other recordings from similar artists as well in the new age genre.

Fast forward to 2019 and her continuing series on National Parks leads you to The Winds of Badlands. Jill’s expertise with the English Horn, oboe and piano lends itself well with the sights and sounds of every track that mirror the winds and their effect on the badlands.

Once again, the CD is packaged beautifully in tri-fold cardboard book format that includes various pictures of the landscape with comments from the artist. What you get is the complete experience and hopefully engaged enough to follow the photos and musical passages to make you feel like you were with Jill experiencing every day she spent there at of one our national treasures.

Each track is a special tribute to the badlands and every mood, time of day and night, and color comes through her music. I wonder how one person can experience the magnificence of nature and all its gifts and translate it through a chosen instrument. Jill has that gift and she presents everything so perfectly in sync with her surroundings.

I choseCliff Shelf Breeze” to add to my New Age Music Reviews Spotify Playlist and once I made that selection I realized if I had to pick again, I would be quite perplexed. Every track is so beautiful and each one has its individuality, sound, pace, texture, mood, and color.

What Jill Haley accomplishes is two-fold. Her innate sense of musicality and how it relates to the music and nature then the gift of conveying her spirituality through the instruments she plays. It is a powerful message to each listener, particularly those that believe our environment is so important and to invest in protecting our Mother Earth for future generations. These parks should be held with the highest respect and love. Those of you that are here to provide the teachings and stewardship to the current generations and beyond are essential to moving forward in this process.

Artists like Jill Haley and projects like The Winds of Badlands carry a very strong message and lesson to us all. Stop, look, listen, and appreciate the environment around you, that is what this poignant artist has accomplished with all of her recordings. It is a great way to enjoy music and also give some thought to what this is all about.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
August 4, 2019

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Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
01. Whirlwind
02. Wind Hymn
03. Cliff Shelf Breeze
04. Silhouettes at Dusk
05. Western Meadowlark Call
06. Sculpted by Water
07. Floor of the Sky
08. Rustles of Green and Gold
09. Moon Over Badlands
10. Uplift
11. Sage Creek Basin
12. Prairie Grass Dance

 

August 1, 2019

Instrumental New Age Review: Michael Joseph-Into The Blue

Release Date: April 19, 2019
Label: Independent

Into The Blue is the debut album for Michael Joseph. This can be a turning point in the career of any artist. Into The Blue allows each listener to look into those blue eyes of the artist and beyond. In other words, right into the very soul of the man playing all the music.

What Michael says about new age music on the inside cover of the CD is insightful. I agree 100% with his thought that music can shape your day and bring you calm. His music is a beautiful tribute to the keys that created all tracks. And all the compositions were created by him as well. This is for a man who wondered one day if he could compose music. I would say the answer to that question is a resounding YES!

Into The Blue is a very inviting release. It doesn’t lull you to sleep, it brings about introspection and complete peace within. This is what the artist was searching for while composing this music. It is indeed a direct reflection of his soul. I believe any astute listener can appreciate the sincerity of this man and his music.

The keyboards have plenty of accompaniment that provides the lush soundscapes for Michael to gently drop his tasteful keystrokes upon. Listening to all these tracks is like riding on a pure white cloud floating along through a clear blue sky. His musicianship perfectly meshes with the layers he puts together in each song. There are many different influences in his music as well. You can hear them all loud and clear, and that my fellow listeners is a beautiful thing.

“Church of My Heart” is one of the finest examples (which I added to my Spotify Playlist on my site). The gorgeous melodies and choir coming into the mix is a slice of heaven. Who would think such beauty could abound from a shiny silver disc? It is one of the miracles of technology. I am waiting for the day when all of these wonderful artists like Michael start getting their music on vinyl, it will be a glorious occasion indeed. In the meantime, we still get to enjoy the originality and talent of fine artists such as this.

Into The Blue is exceptional debut release that should lead to many more to come.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
July 28, 2019

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Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews


Tracks:
01. Awakened (Remastered)
02. Carpathian Echos
03. Into the Blue
04. Daybreak
05. Church of My Heart
06. What Could Have Been
07. Lover's Waltz
08. The Quiet Within
09. Escape
10. The Passage of Time
11. Missing You
12. Into the Storm
13. Another Chance
 

July 24, 2019

Instrumental New Age Review: Masako-Underwater Whisperer

Release Date: June 21, 2019
Label: Masako Music

I found Masako through her Piano Sanctuary release.  And I found a sanctuary through her music. Now two years have passed and Underwater Whisperer is delivered. If you look at the track titles it all lines up with the album title and colorful illustration on the cover.

What I see is a young lady communicating with her surroundings (arms raised to get attention?), the ocean, the polar bear, an iceberg, and sea creatures. Masako communicates with her music but what she is trying to say as well is very important. The thought process here evolves around nature and perhaps a cry for some reasoning around what is happening to the polar ice cap. It is melting away with rising sea temperatures.  Anyone with any sense of reality can see what is going on with our environment. And what is accomplished here is a lot more than a whisper.

You will enjoy 11 tracks of instrumental elegance from the fingers of Masako. The production values are excellent when an artist goes to Will Ackerman’s Imaginary Road Studios and Tom Eaton provides all the meticulous production work. They are two of the busiest men in the music business.

I think the entire album delivers on the promise of tranquility and a meditative or contemplative state of consciousness. Two tracks in particular were my favorites. “Sea Pearls” is 7 minutes and 20 seconds of pure piano bliss.  And “The Deep” is the one I chose to add to my Spotify New Age Music Reviews playlist. It is a step away from the norm, a very different, atmospheric ambient haunting track, as she puts aside the acoustic keys and opts for the electric sound and the perfected vocals of Noah Wilding. I loved it because it is outside of the comfort zone if you will of the rest of the album. Masako takes a chance and comes out the other end triumphantly, offering another side of her musical repertoire that will get long time listeners some ideas of possibly hearing more of that type of approach and sound on the next release.

The piano alone can say a lot but when you add the cello, flute, Chapman Stick, wind synthesizer (an interesting instrument), and percussion it is like a small orchestra adding layers to the one layer of piano. Together as one it can mesmerize and send you to dreamland within one track. It is a thing of beauty that can only be accomplished by a seasoned group of professionals covering every nook and cranny in a song in regards to musicianship and production.
 
It did not take long for Masako to become one of my favorite artists in the new age genre and with Underwater Whisperer my interest and respect for her music continues to grow wings and fly with her every step of the way.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
July 22, 2019

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Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

July 11, 2019

Contemporary New Age Instrumental Review: Louis Anthony deLise-Natural Light

Release Date: July 1, 2019
Label: Bocage Records

My very first journey into the music of Louis Anthony deLise proved to be quite special. Natural Light is a stunning recording. Right from the outset, I was mesmerized by this music.

Excerpt From Artist Website: Louis Anthony deLise is an award-winning composer, record producer, arranger, and conductor. His compositions for soloists and ensembles have been recorded and are often performed worldwide. His arranging and conducting work appear on albums alongside that of many of the world’s top pop artists including, Carlos Santana, Sheila E., Wynonna Judd, Kanye West, CeCe Winans, and Paul Shaffer.

That is enough to pique any music lovers’ interest I would think? With one look at the artwork on the cover of this CD, and I could tell the right message was being relayed to a perspective audience and more importantly to me, the next listener.

All of the instrumentation is incredibly good. Louis plays the acoustic piano, amongst other things, quite brilliantly. And it does not hurt to have on hand Jeff Oster (trumpet), Nancy Rumbel (oboe and English horn), Christine Hansen (flute and alto flute) and Marjam Ingolffson (cello) added to mix to complete each individual track with taste and preciseness. 

“Spring Rain” was the first track that gave me the warm and fuzzy feelings of satisfaction. The rain in spring by definition brings the hope of a new day, sunshine and the coming of summer, flowers blooming and all the trees turning green. With added sounds of nature on the track, I felt like I was inside the song, living the moment within the time and space that mother nature does her work. It’s a beautiful thing to understand and accept how we are intrinsically linked to the earth and all living things.

“Autumn Twilight” brings another season as the leaves turn, the air gets crisper and the colors are vibrant along roadsides and in the mountains of the Northeast. I live it every year and absolutely love it. Ask any New Englander what is their favorite season and I bet they say the fall. Then, of course, the imminent old man winter comes in to freeze the earth and put our grand Mother into hibernation on “Winter’s Chill.” The progression of the tracks is perfect, in sync with the balance of nature and most certainly with this listener. 

After all, this is the reason I was so taken right away listening to this album, its musical perfection as far as I am concerned. There probably is not a musician in the world that would say their music is perfect but from where I sit, all I needed to hear was the 11 tracks of new age instrumentals. The occasional elements of jazz painted in and around the canvas of this musical vision made it all even tastier. It is a picture I would want to look at more than once and so will you once you hear it!

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
July 11, 2019
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks: 
01. Mosaic (album version featuring Nancy Rumbel)
02. In the Edge of the Water (piano solo)
03. Spring Rain (album version featuring Jeff Oster)
04. Variations on Moonlight (piano solo)
05. Early January
06. And Then She Was Gone (piano solo)
07. Autumn Twilight (album version featuring Nancy Rumbel)
08. American Darkness (piano solo)
09. Winter’s Chill
10. But Not Forgotten (piano solo)
11. Natural Light
 

July 7, 2019

Instrumental Piano/New Age Review: Michael Whalen-Cupid Blindfolded

Release Date: July 12, 2019
Label: Real Music

There is nothing better than an instrumental piano recording when you need to relax. I hear a lot of this music all year long and never tire of it because of the multitude of value it provides. It can offer total relaxation during a quiet time you have every day or evening, or provide beneficial focus and help you clear a cluttered mind, or simply invite you into a meditative state.

My introduction to Michael’s music was the 2018 release Kiss The Quiet. I thought that was an ingenious title for the recording and it fit the music like well-worn jeans. I think we have the same instance with the newest edition to his catalog, Cupid Blindfolded.

An artist like Michael Whalen is at the forefront of the Instrumental New Age/Piano genre. You have to be on top of your game to compete with similar artists and capture the imagination of the listeners.

For me, the first thing I take a good look at is the album cover. With the title being Cupid Blindfolded, that is the first thing you see. It is nothing that makes you think too hard or plays tricks on your eyes. Sometimes that is appropriate and is just right for the music, in this case, that is a perfect match.

Cupid may be blindfolded but if she opens her eyes, she can see through the thin red veil that is wrapped around her head. That is a clue as far as I am concerned. People, in general, may have a “veil” of some sort over their eyes but all it takes is for them to open their eyes to see right through it, right? This is a conceptual frame of mind I am coming from. Music and images tell a story and I have found that if there are no words set to the music, it can still relay a powerful message. As I always say, it is up to each listener to decide what the music means to them or could mean to them at first glance of the image.

Cupid Blindfolded is 10 tracks of exceptional solo instrumental piano music. The album has a steady flow to it, like a river after it rains, it moves right along with that sort of momentum. Each melody intrinsically connects to the next one, like mother nature at work in a musical sense of the word.

Talented ivory ticklers like Michael Whalen should have ample opportunities to license their music for a multitude of areas including soundtracks for commercials, documentaries, etc. I do want to stress that this music is first and foremost for a listener to enjoy any time of day or evening, and course the previously mentioned uses it can afford.

Cupid Blindfolded is an excellent group of tracks and it went by much too fast for me. When an album is really good and it catches my ear, it has a strong meaning for me personally. And that is the way it works and that’s a good thing!

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
July 5, 2019
 
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Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks: 
01. Cupid Blindfolded
02. All of My Heart All of My Soul
03. Reflection of My Affection
04. Sunrise in the Desert
05. The Muse
06. At the Touch of a Lover
07. Standing in the Rain
08. Serendipity
09. Isle of Skye
10. City of Lights