February 25, 2015

Track Feature: Philip Wesley-Union

Philip Wesley's "Union" is the meeting of a man and his piano and how the sounds produced through that instrument can create beauty and reverberate in the human spirit.

This song will touch your soul in some way, and that is exactly what the artist wants to do. His goal is for people to listen and Transcend any problems or obstacles one may have in their lives through his music.

MuzikMan Rating: 4.5/5 Stars


 

More About Philip Wesley:
http://philipwesley.com

Philip Wesley’s music has been featured in radio, TV, film and print. It can be found on many of today’s most popular platforms including Pandora, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, and CDBaby. His music continues to dominate his genre of ‘New Age’ music and reached #1 on the iTunes charts, The Top 100 on Amazon, Best Seller at CD Baby, and most recently #12 on the Billboard Charts (New Age Catalog Chart) Charting with ‘The Piano Guys’ and ‘Jim Brickman’ The music reviewer ‘Reviews New Age’ recently called Philip
’s album Dark Night of the Soul one of the “50 Greatest New Age Albums of All Time.”

Transcend is Philip Wesley's 7th solo piano album and is about overcoming problems and obstacles in life. Not just overcoming them, but rising so far above and beyond them that they seem insignificant and a distant memory. This album is also about having the courage to change, to face and overcome your fears, and pursuing the people, places, and things in life that captivate you.

A dynamic album with a rich, dark ambient piano sound. Ranging from contemporary/new age to classical crossover. An emotionally powerful album from start to finish. 


February 19, 2015

New Age/Pop Review: David Arkenstone and Charlee Brooks-Inamorata


Release Date: February 3, 2015
Label: Green Hill
Website


Some performers stick in your heart long after the last note is played. David Arkenstone and Charlee Brooks are two of those. After their last album, Lovéren, I fell in adoration and was thrilled to find out about Inamorata. David Davidson performs the violin and his contributions as always are beautiful. The release in February 2015 couldn’t have been timelier. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, this album is a spell of love and longing with eight original tracks along with renditions of the Game of Thrones main theme as well as, “Did I Make the Most of Loving You” from Downton Abbey, Zedd’s “Clarity” and “Harem” from Sarah Brightman. The last song on the album is dedicated to Arkenstone’s niece who was born during the recording of the album. 

Inamorata begins with the earth shattering song, “Believe.” Stains of gorgeous multi-instrumentation paint a celestial canvas of fairy tale proportions. Twinkling bells and piano sequences make way for Charlee’s angelic voice. Strong and clear, her singing brings to mind Disney princesses and epic journeys. Castles in the air filled with love and optimism radiate outward with these transcendent lyrics and seamless harmonies. 

The second song on the album is the theme from Downton Abbey. “Did I Make the Most of Loving You” is presented flawlessly with orchestral quality sound and Charlee’s gossamer vocals. Radiant and vibrant with percussive elements that inspire imagination, the piece is magnificent.

“Inamorata” is the title track for the album. A ballad of love and hope, this song is the light in the window of the soul. This is an original work and personifies a love that lasts forever. It leads into the “Main Theme” from Game of Thrones. I found it fitting that they were next to each other on the track lineup. With the Celtic strains and magical imagery invoked, this piece brings to life a world of adventure just in time for a new season to arrive on DVD. Every fan of the show will love this rendition. Clear and melodic with harmonies that reach up and grab you, this piece will make your blood pound and your fingers itch to grab the remote to watch more of this epic series.
“Clarity” is filled with breathy wisps in the background, piano and multi-instrumentation. Charlee’s sparkling vocals echo in the heart. We don’t always want to fall in love but sometimes the very person we fight against is the one who will be our salvation. Poignant and full of emotion, this piece will warm the heart of romance readers everywhere. It reads (sounds) like a romance novel and that makes this one of my favorite songs on the album. Love. Angst. Love. Can’t get much better than that.

David Arkenstone has been making music for twenty five years and is a performer that gives nothing less than perfection. The love and care he put into this album is truly beyond the pale and he surrounds himself with artists that give only their best. Love songs are always well met and this album takes eight original pieces along with four favorites and weaves a fairy tale mix of epic proportions that will hook you in the first few minutes of listening. 

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Believe, Inamorata, Did I Make the Most of Loving You, Game of Thrones, Clarity

Tracks: 
01. Believe
02. Did I Make The Most Of Loving You? (Theme From "Downton Abbey")
03. Never Forget
04. Inamorata
05. Main Title (From "Game Of Thrones")
06.Clarity
07. Beautiful Storm
08. Don't Let Me Go
09. Harem
10. Invisible
11. Great Love
12. Lullaby For Belina


DanaWright, Sr. Staff Writer

February 19, 2015

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews



February 15, 2015

New Age Instrumental Review: David Wahler-Spiritus

Release Date: February 15, 2015
Label: Independent

David Wahler is an award winning musician. He began his musical career playing by ear and has since grown to become an important and respected member of the musical community. He has been involved in Broadway, symphonies and has worked with disadvantaged and handicapped children. In his fourth and newest album Spiritus, he takes all of his hard won knowledge as a music reviewer and artist and brings us an album of deep reflection and spirituality. 

From the onset of “Spiritus” I was sucked into a vortex of elemental proportion. The crisp sensation of the atmospheric music gave way to texture and electronic multi instrumentation that led me on an inner journey of peace and tranquility. Breathless wisps of sound and deep imagery of the vastness of the universe brought home the feeling that we are not alone, no matter how much it can feel that way sometimes.
 
“Devi” made me feel like I was sitting in the middle of a church pew waiting for the homily to begin. The sense of belonging and contentment from the outset of the piece overflowed into a tender spiritual working. Delicate keyboarding morphs into electronic bursts of wonderment like the sun setting dust motes ablaze with light when they fall in front of a stained glass window. Essences of flute echo through the piece, bringing serenity and wonderment. A young girl sits next to her father and listens as the world opens up to all the possibilities of the future. School, her first date, marriage, a child of her own…life lived one day at a time. The tender moments are the most pure and stay with us as the days march on. 

“Chela” begins with a toe stepping into a pool of forever. The twinkling sound of chimes and the sound of water rushing by blends with elegant keyboard compositions and percussive elements to bring a tapestry of sound and a landscape to sink yourself into. This has to be my favorite piece from the album. If ever you wanted the sounds of a spa this would be the piece to play. Close your eyes and feel invisible fingertips drift over you body and soul and with them all the cares of the world fall away. 

David Wahler is a musical force to be reckoned with. Spiritus is a journey into the infinite universe, one human soul at a time. The compositions are fluid and each piece is done with care and precision. I highly recommend this album to anyone who needs a bit of respite after a particularly tough day. It will refresh you both body and soul-and that my friends I can attest to by experience.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Spiritus, Devi, Chela

Tracks: 
01. Spiritus
02. Mystic Voyage
03. Bhakti Heart
04. Whispers from Eternity
05. Ananda
06. Metamorphose
07. Devi
08. Veil of Maya
09. Spirit Dance
10. Chela
11. Ocean of Light

 
DanaWright, Sr. Staff Writer

February 15, 2015

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

February 12, 2015

New Age Music Review: Michele McLaughlin-Undercurrent

Release Date: February 24, 2015
Label: Indie

If you have not heard of Michele McLaughlin yet you must be living under a rock. You get a one-time excuse if you are not a fan of new age instrumental music. 
  
Undercurrent is her 15th proper recording. That is an amazing body of work in a fairly short period of time. And she did it all in approximately 15 years. 

This is instrumental music that moves you. Emotion and a sense of spirituality breaks through as if it were delivered on the wings of an angel. If you say the title Undercurrent out loud or to yourself you understand what it all means once you are immersed in this gorgeous piano music. Underneath every note in every track is a feeling, emotion, pain, joy, despair – quintessentially the undercurrents that run our life and motivate us to make decisions, live and love. The title says all of that when you make yourself an open book…the pages will turn and you will understand.

One of the more meaningful songs for the artist is “The Space Between.” It is about Michele moving 10 miles away from her sister after living right next door. That family bond and the special relationship one can have with a sibling is explored. 10 miles may not seem like a long way but when you are close to a family member it can feel like an ocean separates you. I understand the emotional pain involved and could feel how real that sadness was in Michele’s piano playing. The fact that the music is so beautiful does allow some consolation for the listener and hopefully a purging and healing process for the creator.

 
“Starstuff” is elegant and universal. Star dust we are indeed. I enjoyed the melody in this track, it is purposeful like letting go and allowing your spirit to soar and explore the universe. It is a perfect example of how music without words can hold so many meanings for each listener. Let it take you away, breath deep and transcend all that may be holding you back. I felt inspired and a few chills came over me while listening.

Speaking of inspiration, “Never Give Up” personifies that message. Michele receives emails from folks that may be going through a tough period and they say that her music heals and helps them to carry on and recover. I can say with complete certainty that is a fact. I felt renewed and hopeful after listening to this music; it brought me to another place. For this listener that is the primary purpose of music and if that is accomplished then it was a success.

Undercurrent is a standalone work of art that can be especially appreciated by anyone that understands the effort that goes into the creative process, whether it be a piece of music, a painting, or music that paints its own scenery like this fine album so gracefully does consistently throughout. It is a perfect group of songs with just the piano and Michele McLaughlin and I could not imagine hearing it any other way.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: The Space Between, Never Give Up, Starstuff

Tracks:
01. 11,000 Miles
02. Living in Awe
03. Changing Skies
04. Full of Love
05. The Space Between
06. Undercurrent
07. Starstuff
08. Never Give Up
09. Evolution
10. On My Own
11. Melody In Motion
12. Stepping Stones
13. Synesthesia

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
February 12, 2015
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

New Age Featured Track: David Arkenstone-Inamorata

David Arkenstone has collaborated once again with Charlee Brooks and released his new album Inamorata (just last week). The album is another new age release with a pop flair to it. A little different twist here and there in comparison to previous releases.

The title track is what we are celebrating here and fine choice for a feature indeed. It comes with all the trimmings...soaring vocals, textured and beautiful music for those vocals to float upon and more.

Everything is in place to prime you for full listen of the new album.

MuzikMan Rating: 4.5/5 Stars


More About David Arkenstone And The New Release:

http://www.davidarkenstone.com/cool-music.html

Copied From David's Website:

I'm really excited about my new album INAMORATA (released Tuesday, February 3rd!).  It's another collaboration with gifted vocalist and lyricist Charlee Brooks… sort of a follow up to our Lovéren and our last collaboration, Celtic Garden. I had a lot of fun moving sort of into the pop vein a bit. Inamorata has eight original songs in addition to our renditions of the awesome themes from Downton Abbey and Game Of Thrones along with Zedd's "Clarity" and Sarah Brightman's "Harem.'' 

The release is just in time for Valentine's Day and this is an album of well, love songs!  There's also the lullaby that I wrote for my little niece, who was born during the recording. Really enjoyed working with David Davidson again… he's an amazing violinist!  Here's a little 'behind the scenes' look during the recording http://vimeo.com/112805828. It's coming out on the Green Hill label and is already available on Amazon and iTunes. I'm always deeply touched by your support of my music… Inamorata is a special album and I hope you all enjoy it!

January 30, 2015

Featured New Age Artist: David Wahler

David Wahler's music transports you to another place, where it is serene and beautiful, unencumbered by any outside influences.

This is healing music. Get ready to relax and take a trip to heaven! Listen to "Night Sky of Orion" for a taste of what is to come.

His upcoming album Spiritus is sure to make waves as its predecessors did.



More About David Wahler:
http://www.davidwahler.com 

David Wahler began his musical career at the age of 7 playing the piano “by ear.” Years of summer music clinics and academies at various universities culminated in his studying piano performance at Lawrence University Conservatory of Music and Mannes College of Music in New York. David then began serving as a musical director off Broadway. In the Chicago area, he played with the Rockford Symphony Orchestra as well as teaching music appreciation to disadvantaged and handicapped children. 

David released his first album, Antiquus, in the spring of 2009. The CD was met with instant accolades from the reviewers. He placed number one on ZMR (Zone Music Reporter) charts for the month of July, and was the highest ranking debut album in the history of the charts. Antiquus was selected by numerous websites as “one of the best New Age CD’s of 2009”, as well as placing third on ZMR’s Top 100 Most Played Albums of 2009. Antiquus was also nominated for four Zone Music Awards for 2009, including Best Album and Best New Artist, going on to win Best New Artist. 

David’s second album, A Star Danced, released March 1, 2010, was met with the following praise from RJ Lannan, reviewer with Zone Music Reporter. “Contemporary ambient artist David Wahler, musically takes us beyond earthly boundaries on his newest release, A Star Danced . It is music that celebrates the joy of living on a celestial scale. I give it a stellar recommendation.”

Nominated by ZMR Awards as Best Album, Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, A Star Danced went on to win Best Meditation & Relaxation Album of 2010. Secret Dream, David’s third album, was released in 2013 by New World Music.

January 7, 2015

New Age Review: Reneé Michele-Seasons of the Heart

Release Date: December 20, 2014
Label: Independent

Seasons of the Heart is a journey that begins with a memory. Bitter and sweet, the days of our lives are full of winters and springs. Of summers where we dance and stark autumn moments when we grieve. In this beautiful celebration of the artist’s memories we walk with her through some of life’s most personal moments. Produced by Will Ackerman at the legendary Imaginary Road Studio, this album is also graced by Jill Haley (English horn), Charlie Bisharat (violin),  Eugene Friesen (cello), Jeff Haynes (percussion), Noah Wilding (vocals), Tom Eaton (bass), and Michael Manring (fretless bass) and of course Reneé Michele at the helm of the piano.

“Gone” is the devastation of a loved one’s passing. The loving memories of a life well spent, but the absence where there once was a presence. Some voids simply cannot be filled. Fluid piano movements and tender whispers call out to those we love in remembrance and thankfulness that our lives touched, if only for a moment.

“Forgiveness” is an evocative piece that tears into the tender places in the heart where some of the deepest emotions dwell. Who has not been hurt by a loved one or been the one to cause the pain? Love is a scary and beautiful thing, much like the resonating melodies presented in this piece. Careful piano movements and string presentations delve deep. Tear stained cheeks and eyes that smile through the pain that only true love can cause bring the joy of forgiveness.

“Seasons of the Heart” is an all-encompassing voyage through the dark hour of the soul and back to light again. Our lives, like this vision of melodic wonder, are rife with challenges, hurts, victories and celebrations. Love, life and laughter walk with us even as death and unfortunate events bring us to our knees. The seasons change and with it the ebb and flow of our inner tides. Poignant piano playing combined with multi-instrumentation brings out the deep emotion that only Reneé Michele can. She finds the perfect note and spins her song, leaving us breathless with the beauty of truth.

Our lives truly are seasons. Memories come to us from the summer and winter of our lives. Some are bountiful and some haunt us with broken promises and hurtful actions whether from ourselves or others. In true artful fashion, Reneé Michele takes each feeling and brings it to the surface in melodious fashion. These are the seasons of our lives; the sun, the moon, the seasons…new beginnings and bittersweet endings. It is the breath in our bodies and the secret smile on the lips. It is music. It is…life.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Seasons of the Heart, Gone, Forgiveness

DanaWright, Sr. Staff Writer

January 7, 2015

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews