January 22, 2020

Pop-Rock-Contemporary-New Age Review: Mary Gospe-Time To Soar

Genre: Pop-Rock-Contemporary-New Age
Release Date: November 15, 2019
Label: Independent

Usually, when I cover new age-related music it is all instrumental and at times some chants and vocalizations. Mary Gospe’s Time To Soar took me right out of that little comfort zone I have been in for so long. That is by no means a negative connotation, change means growth!

One look at the album cover and you see a woman that is shining brightly with positivity and light. The mantra for the project is meant for each listener to embrace their authentic self with love, trust, joy, and freedom (Listen to “Free To Be Me”). If you are already doing that then this will just validate that purpose one step further.

Time To Soar is the message, plain and simple. Mary has a very nice voice that blends well with the music presented. Although the music is not new age, the subject matter is 100%. The music you will hear is pop, rock, and adult contemporary. It was all co-created with producer/multi-instrumentalist, David Vito Gregoli.

“We Are One” is a powerful message to the universe. The message certainly reverberates with me and hopefully, it will with everyone that takes the time to listen to this beautiful combination of lyrical prose and musical excellence. I choose that that track to be represented on my New Age Music Reviews Spotfiy Playlist (I also included the entire album for streaming here as well).

A lot of acoustic guitar playing is very good like on “I Choose Love.” This kind of accompaniment is typical of what you will hear on this recording. It is quality vocals with quality musicianship consistently. If you think about it, it has to be strong. If you want to reach an audience with your message you need a good bed of music to let ride on, and that is exactly what happens. It works well for Mary’s voice and choice of lyrics.

Just like she sings on “Pendulum,” give in to trust, surrender to love. It is simple and straight forward. However, for some of us, that kind of idea can be a task rather than a smooth transition. And that is why people like Mary and Vito are here on the planet, to help us move in that direction a little easier.

“Unity” has more rock elements than all the previous tracks. It is restrained but impactful with some nice organ to complement the electric guitar. There are no rough edges or anything that makes it a flat-out rocker, it is tastefully done to enhance Mary’s vocals and the background vocals. The track “Ride The Wave” has a political and world situation bend to it but is done nicely and gently pushes you into a more positive state of mind. Mary sings-I’m not going to succumb, I’m going “Ride The Wave” of a higher frequency and I’m going to rise above it and rise to a higher vibration. What a great message, and finally a song with those elements without any anger or negativity. It was so refreshing!

This was out of the ordinary for me in the new age realm which made me more selective and tougher from a critical stance. Mary passed with flying colors. If you are ready or if you are not, it is the Time To Soar and “Ride The Wave” to a higher vibration!

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
January 20, 2020

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Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:

01. We Are One
02. Walk Slowly
03. The Black Crow Prophecy
04. Time to Soar
05. I Choose Love
06. Free To Be Me
07. Pendulum
08. Unity
09. Ride The Wave
10. Let's Break Away
11. Live From Your Heart
12. All Is Well

 

January 14, 2020

New Age/Contemporary Instrumental Review: Stephen Peppos-And Then Came Love

Release Date: January 20, 2020
Label: Sonic Bear Records
Website

And Then Came Love is the third release I have had the opportunity to hear from Stephen Peppos. The all-instrumental new age and contemporary piano selections are all about the same topic, love.

Interesting enough the title track is the very last track. I have not noticed that too much on releases in the past. It is a good idea however, as it reminds you once again what the title of the recording is and the entire meaning of the fourteen tracks being offered. There is a reason for the order of tracks, I think if you asked any artists that, their reply would yes, and for many different reasons.

There is a common-sense thread with the way the tracks are titled and a definitive meaning and progression. Some folks may think that is not that important or even notice, but I do. I try to look at the entire package being presented including artwork, track names, and order or any lyrics. In this case, it is all instrumental so it is entirely up to each listener to find their meaning and interpretation of every track and in the end, what it means personally. After all, isn’t the subject of love a separate meaning for everyone? Whether it is for another person, place, event or a family pet. The word love can be applied to all of that and more.

Stephen plays a very expressive and poignant type of piano. The title and the track do fit if you can look beyond the music, then let it encapsulate your being and open your heart to whatever comes your way. Music like this has no barriers of time and space, it inhabits the space you’re in and moves you to another plane of thought and existence. And thank god for that. With all of those thoughts prevailing, the power and healing that this kind of music can bring you is boundless. You can call Stephen the Doctor of Music on And Then Came Love. Love is coming your way by the end of this recording, and yet another reason why to have the title track as the curtain closer!

The beauty and grace of the music contained on this album will be enjoyed by all those that come within listening distance intentional or not, it will catch your ear and warm your heart. To know there is such magnificence in one instrument is one of the wonders of life. Because of that realization, I find a tremendous amount of gratitude when I listen to this music. My suggestion would be to listen to this as much as you can, particularly if you need a reprieve from stress or a very busy day. And Then Came Love will turn it all around and put a smile in your heart and soul.


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck

January 11, 2020

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Tracks:
 

01. Love You
02. Meant To Be
03. A Love So True
04. Love & Affection
05. For A Lifetime
06. The Spark of Love
07. Everlasting Love
08. In Your Eyes
9.  A Playful Glance
10. Since I Found You
11. My Sweet Love
12. When We First Met
13. Forever In My Heart
14. And Then Came Love


January 7, 2020

New Age/Contemporary Instrumental Reviews: Passions- Force For Good-Music That Makes A Difference

Release Date: February 1, 2020
Label: Sprout Recordings

Jonathan Sprout and Joe Mennonna is the Force For Good-Music That Makes A Difference and their maiden voyage is Passions.

When you go to the website you are met with these inspirational words:
“Let’s join in creating a bold, visionary world that is not driven by fear but inspired by hope.” — Jonathan Sprout, Founder 

The music presented on this sixteen-track CD is a new age flavored contemporary instrumental with the keyboards as the base instrument. Jonathan plays the acoustic 12-string guitar while Multi-instrumentalist Joe Mennonna played all keyboards, woodwinds and brass instruments, and performed midi programming including cello and bass viol, percussion, and strings, and in addition to all of that, he did all the engineering. Leslie Chew also provides electric guitar on five of the tracks.

Keyboard or piano centered music is very flexible with the amount of instrumentation that can be added to every track. This is the kind of project that illustrates that kind of mix beautifully. What you will find with this project is how the intent is to add imagery to the music via other media such as videos, like “Harmony” which I have added to this review for your enjoyment.

The CD case is a nice tri-fold cardboard presentation with many messages in the images and how it all fits with the music. If you look at all the titles of each track, they most certainly carry a positive message.
 
There has been a lot of negativity in the world for many years now, and projects such as this offer an olive branch to the people of the world. As another decade ushers in, we are all hopeful for change and the healing of mother earth and her inhabitants. All kinds of lifeforms are in danger now and we must unite to change that course. We all know this and it helps to see projects like this form and carry a message through beautiful music and images that everyone can understand regardless of race, religion, creed or culture. In the end, we are all the same and anyone can appreciate beautiful music.

Passions is perfect for films, videos or soundtracks for many types of documentaries. The multitude of purposes for this music makes it consumable on so many levels. The project evolved after the music was created then Jonathan started adding videos for the tracks. It pushed the entire project out over a 2-year period to sync all of the media into one amazing presentation.


I think it was important to point out the meaning of this project besides the music, which relaxes you and focuses you on the deeper meanings of every track. That it is how it worked for me and hopefully it will for those of you that wish to support this endeavor by purchasing the CD and subscribing to the You Tube Channel now. 

This is gorgeous instrumental music that will carry you through many emotions and thoughts. Any good music has the power to do that. Thank you, Jonathan, Joe, and Leslie, for creating such beautiful healing sounds with an incredibly important message to the world!

Another release is expected in February of 2021.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
January 7, 2020

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TRACKS:
01. Force
02. Safe
03. Ice
04. Community
05. Refuge
06. Happiness
07. Exceptional
08. For
09. Organic
10. Solar
11. Harmony
12. Mountains
13. Courage
14. Hope
15. Grace
16. Good 


November 18, 2019

New Age-World Fusion Review: Paul Adams & Elizabeth Geyer-Deeper Imaginings

Release Date: November 15, 2019
Label: Independent
Website: https://pauladams.org/  http://www.elizabethgeyer.com/

Paul Adams and Elizabeth have combined their talents once again to release Deeper Imaginings.  In 2015 the incarnation of this meeting came out titled Imaginings.

Every recording artist intends to reach their audience in some way. Dependent on the genre it can be for various reasons. When it comes to any kind of new age music, I have the opportunity to hear, there is one main focus, to bring a sense of comfort and healing to their prospective audience.

These very talented musicians that I like to refer to as artisans, decided to create something with a little bit of everything in it to make it a very interesting journey. I think it takes the soul of a multi-talented artist to create a project like Deeper Imaginings. In this case, it took several individual's contributions to make this project work. This amazing combination of new age, jazz, and world, is ultimately a satisfying fusion of all three genres. This is where the deeper reference comes in, it started as imaginings and now it is much deeper and reflective.

“The Unfolding” is a rich blend of genres with a calming fluidness to give it that meditative atmosphere of healing and an aura of energy. It has a far east flavor to it which puts a smile in my heart. I added it to my NAMR Spotify Playlist where it should be, alongside all the other great tracks by an artist in the same community that I want to create awareness of.

“Hope For The Game” has an interesting spoken word addition to go along with the music, yet another “deeper” dive into what can be our imaginings as sentient beings visiting this planet. We are just visitors for our lifetime and the planet will remain, at least we have that hope. We have the hope of a “New Morning” while we inhabit mother earth, that will live to see its beauty for another day. This is my interpretation however I do believe the recording artists would like to know that all those tracks are felt positively by each listener. I don’t think that will be a problem with this recording.

The combination of instruments is quite fascinating and different than your typical new age release because of the jazz element injected by Elizabeth Geyer’s Flugelhorn. Then her piano also helps that taste of jazz and in retrospect gives each track an entirely different musical window to look through. But then again, every instrument that is included adds another dimension, layer, and or texture making it all a very unique and symbol of the diversity of talent afforded a listener throughout the run of the eleven tracks.

Paul brings a lot to the table as well with a guitar, sitar, Chinese halusi, percussion, oud, synth, and dobro. This is where the world sound comes in and adds the spice and variety to each composition. All the elements come together for an amazing final partnership within each track. The “Endless Horizon” of sound and color will keep each listener enchanted from beginning to end. I find music with this much diversity to have the word “world” in it for one reason, we are one world and one people having the desire to live and love. This is one reminder of that goal.

The Players Are:
Paul Adams: Guitar, sitar, chinese halusi, percussion, oud, synth, dobro
Elizabeth Geyer: Piano, flugelhorn, vocals
Pravin Godkhindi: Bansuri flute
David Hoffman: Trumpet
Gary Green: Guitar
Alp Akmaz: Balaban (Duduk)

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
November 16, 2019

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews
 

Tracks:
01. Endless Horizon
02. The Unfolding
03. Acceptance
04. New Morning
05. Essence & Flow
06. Allowing
07. Still Meadows
08. Awakening
09. All That I Am  
10. Evening
11. Hope For The Game




November 16, 2019

New Age Artists Paul Adams & Elizabeth Geyer To Release DEEPER IMAGININGS on November 15, 2019


DEEPER IMAGININGS by Paul Adams & Elizabeth Geyer is a follow up to 2015's IMAGININGS 

Bringing together some of the worlds most accomplished musicians, DEEPER IMAGININGS by Paul Adams and Elizabeth Geyer is a follow up to 2015's IMAGININGS which debuted #1 on the iTunes new age chart and was the Zone Music Reporter's best Contemporary Instrumental Album of the year. It was a journey of happenstance, whimsy and the joy of sharing music and love between cultures. Elizabeth came all the way from Australia. Pravin Godkhindi played bansuri flute in India. Alp Akmaz who played the balaban (similar to duduk) is from Turkey. Former trumpet soloist and arranger David Hoffman is based in Illinois, and Gary Green of the legendary UK band Gentle Giant added gentle guitar.

Adams, with over 102 million streams on Pandora has shown that walking the road less traveled can work. “We all love to create much like a painter. The choice of color and hue is from the artist's whim and is independent from corporate dictate. I was thrilled to be able to use some of the instruments I built in my earlier years as a luthier. Guitars, dulcimer and electric sitar was blended with the natural genius of Elizabeth Geyer's piano, flugelhorn and voice, used in a textural and ambient way. Her ear is stunning and her musical intuition and training in jazz blended well with my rather improvised gentle folk approach, as well as training in ethnomusicology”

For Adams and Geyer, meeting Pravin Godkhindi on YouTube and Alp Akmaz on Instagram seems appropriate given today’s ease of technology. The fact that the musical co-operation was so natural shows what a tool it is to embrace and grow as the world shrinks around us. Adams comments that “there was an intuitive vibe in connecting with these musicians. A lot of freedom was encouraged. We had faith that each knew the best way to fill their role, and they really did.”  

DEEPER IMAGININGS can be found on the web and all digital sites like iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp, CD Baby, Spotify and Pandora



To purchase:
BANDCAMP https://pauladams.bandcamp.com/album/deeper-imaginings
Apple Music https://music.apple.com/us/album/deeper-imaginings/1485285377
Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Deeper-Imaginings-Adams-Elizabeth-Geyer/dp/B07ZPFN6TW
CD Baby https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/pauladams20
Spotify https://open.spotify.com/album/4Mg8vqlYLOadYJVgNpBGbw

For more information, promo copies and interview requests contact:
Paul Adams at Paul@pauladams.org. PH: 1-309-688-0267
www.pauladams.org  / www.elizabethgeyer.com

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 1-828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com

November 13, 2019

Contemporary-Classical Instrumental Review: Dulce Joya-Devotion

Release Date: October 11, 2019
Label: housemaster records

It has been over two years since I have the wondrous and beautiful piano playing of Dulce Joya. My first journey with this amazing soloist was Reality of Dreams.

Now the curtain opens again for Dulce on Devotion, a collection of 10 instrumental and epic piano compositions for those with an ear for a classical, new age, ambient, or just a good music without words type of listen.

Once again, I find myself mesmerized by this music. The tracks comprise the entire scale of human emotion and everything else in between. What Dulce creates is a soundtrack that could fit into so many lives and film scores for that matter. I heard the excitement, sadness, the rolling of the ocean's tide as it hits the shore, sunshine, rain, well let’s just say her range is amazing. And to cover all of this within one recording to affect one listener in this manner is an implausible achievement. It takes a lot to get my attention after 21 years of covering music from around the world. It has to be quite exceptional for me to dive in and be able to flow with the music and let my words develop and flow as I listen.

Dulce’s passion and technical expertise with the ivory keys are exceptional and all 10 tracks can offer a demanding listener enough to hold their attention from start to finish. The classical influence is strong in her presentation however she does allow the discipline some breathing room so she goes into different directions and moods within one song. To articulate it as improvisation is almost a stretch because it is organized and so perfected. I am not sure how to explain it beyond that. I think that many listeners would consider it a new age classical as well. Essentially all you have to do is let it be whatever it is for you the individual. I think that is the most important factor for anyone’s listening experience.

I can tell potential listeners that this is beautiful music to be enjoyed anytime or anywhere. It is more than background music though, it absorbs you, relaxes you and empty’s your mind to make room for all the positive things in life. It is not happy time music, it is more of a time to reflect, focus and just let the sounds, emotions, and changes of the tempos guide you. It can take you away from the stresses of life we all experience for a while. For this listener, that is the absolute best kind of listen to take in.

Dulce is streaming one track from the album currently title “Yes It Is You,” which I have included here and on my New Age Music Reviews Spotify Playlist.

When I hear artistry like this on display, I wish that I could manipulate an instrument and create such beauty. But for now, my music is my words and I hope it captures your imagination like this music just did for me.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
November 12, 2019

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Tracks:
 

01. Passione Nocturnale
02. Yes It Is You  
03. The Sound of Your Voice
04. Eternal Love
05. Forgotten Worlds
06. Oceanally Hearts
07. My Untamed Soul in Yours
08. The Endless Feelings of Mine
09. From Ancient Time We Meet Again

10. Mystery Among Candles



November 8, 2019

Contemporary Instrumental – New Age Review: Gina Lenee-Revealed

Release Date: November 2, 2019
Label: Independent

Gina Lenee’s recent release Revealed is a collection of eleven contemporary instrumental tracks. The new age in her music are the messages inside the CD sleeve. The words of inspiration and self-validation are a significant part of what she offers a listener.
 
Gina Lenee’s recent release Revealed is a collection of eleven contemporary instrumental tracks. The new age in her music is the messages inside the CD sleeve. The words of inspiration and self-validation are a significant part of what she offers a listener.

You do not have to be a fan of this type of music to get something of value from it if you are then that is the cherry on top of the ice cream. I enjoy this type of music immensely and sometimes wonder if I will run out of words to say with the instrumental albums, but alas, I am inspired, energized, and cleansed emotionally and spiritually with this music.

Your true self will be Revealed if you allow this recording to settle into your consciousness and permeate your very being. It goes deep but we all do when it comes to our feelings, beliefs, and how we feel about ourselves. So, the idea here is to empower you to be true to yourself, listen to the music, relax and become one with the textures, colors, and vibrations of all these beautiful tracks. The artistry of the sounds can be a blank canvas that you can paint for yourself.

The extraordinary team at Imaginary Road Studios with Will Ackerman (acoustic guitar), Tom Eaton (electric bass), Charlie Bisharat (violin), Eugene Friesen (cello), Jeff Haynes (percussion), Jeff Oster (flugelhorn) and Premik Russell Tubbs (electric wind synthesizer, soprano sax), help Gina create a masterpiece of instrumental bliss and wonderment. The quality of the tracks from a production standpoint is outstanding and it goes without saying how on point all of the musicians are. Gina’s piano is the core from which everything grows and melds into one amazing track after another.

Once “On The Wings of Love” (added to my Spotify Playlist) started I found immediate recognition from the past. Jeffrey Osborne’s 1982 hit was hard to forget and so is the melody. It was nice to hear that song at the mid-way point of this album. I normally do not hear any covers on these types of releases but it was a welcome addition and a nice transition. Right after that the main focus and sound of the album returns, which is important to maintain that consistency and stay with the original thoughts and meanings.

I will end with this quote from Tom Eaton that says it all! He not only played bass but was the co-producer with Will Ackerman and the engineer for the recording.

“An emotional masterpiece. Each song dives deeply into its own world fully showing the range and passion of a unique artist.” 

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
November 6, 2019

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Tracks:
01. Undeniable
02. Finding Me Again
03. I Want to Get Closer
04. Over
05. Run Away with Me
06. On the Wings of Love
07. Revealed
08. Even If I Have to Stand Alone
09. Are You Still Dancing with Shadows
10. Between What's Lost and Found
11. To My Younger Self