Showing posts with label New Music Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Music Reviews. Show all posts

New Age Instrumental Review: Kathryn Kaye-Solace of Mountains and Clouds

Release Date: June 1, 2019
Label: Indie

Solace of Mountains and Clouds is the fifth release I am covering by the exquisite piano player Kathryn Kaye. It was like visiting an old friend when I gave this new recording my first listen. I received everything I have come to expect from an album created by this exceptional artist, top-notch musicianship, production, and sound.

If those three factors are in place consistently on your recordings there is a very good chance you will garner the praise you deserve and all the respect from your peers in the industry. You can tick off all the boxes in that category for Kathryn as well.

Solace of Mountains and Clouds is a direct reflection of the surroundings of the artist where she lives and creates all of her compositions. The inspiration of mother nature can be found in many different segments of the artistic communities. I must say after several years of listening to instrumental piano and new age music, that the images and music presented most definitely go hand in hand. The production elements are superb thanks to the Imaginary Road Studios and the fine stable of artists that contribute to this and many other recordings. The partnerships created are absolute bliss, with Kathryn’s recording being no exception.

A few of my favorites are “Slow Waltz at Summer's End” and “While The Mountain Sleeps.”  The track titles are as moving as the music. The images created by the titles and music are all at once prolific, calming, spiritual and rhythmic. There is an innate sense of musicality and tones emanating from those talented fingers that touch the ivory keys.

Solace of Mountains and Clouds is the soul of nature mirrored in the music and the colors, atmospheres, and vibrations of this wonderful music. It starts by touching all of your senses then it finds a way to your heart and soul. Any good instrumental music holds that magic but to do it so well and for so long is an incredible achievement and a gift to all that have the pleasure of hearing it.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
June 2, 2019
 
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
01. Luna's Dream 3:57
02. For Love of Earth and Sky 5:12
03. We'll Be Home Tomorrow 4:13
04. Slow Waltz at Summer's End 4:24
05. Solace of Mountains and Clouds 6:06
06. Mountains Touching Sky 4:10
07. Finally Spring 5:16
08. Warm Sun, Gentle Rain 4:00
09. While the Mountain Sleeps 4:27
10. Stories Told by Trees 4:55


New Age-World Review: Grayhawk-Voice of the Ancestors

Release Date: February 1, 2019
Label: Deep Space Music

Grayhawk (David Gibney) recently released Voice of the Ancestors, the third and final album in a Shamanic Trilogy.

He is a man that has been healing from the tragedy of losing his toddler son. He has transitioned from that pain and loss and transformed his life with more purpose to help those that have special needs. Also created is a foundation in honor of his son to help those with neuroblastoma, a catastrophic pediatric cancer of the sympathetic nervous system that took his life.

Obviously, his music holds many meanings but the primary goal is to ascend to a higher place, heal the soul, and in essence become reborn with new life and purpose.

Voice of the Ancestors features the usual lineup of stars from the New Age genre that find their way on to most of the releases I have the honor of hearing. Grayhawk plays the synthesizers as a base instrument then there is so much more that contributes to the overall sound and textures of this release. To say it is World music is correct but with a New Age concept and approach. The ancients held many traditions and ceremonies all over the world. What this recording captures is the very spirit and color of that diversity and beauty.

There are native flutes, worldbeat percussions, viola, ambient guitar lines, and gorgeous vocalizations, particularly on “Peace Prayer.” The track runs over 10 minutes and takes 160 tracks of invocation of English, Hebrew, Farsi, and Arabic. There is also the shorter version, a little over 5 minutes for the internet streaming stations to play. Honestly, I have heard similar tracks but nothing like this before. The blend of all the languages balances with the English word, which is still heard so you can listen to the translations at the same time, amazing. This is the kind of track that deserves worldwide attention and should be heard on every inch of the globe. 

Grayhawk has created a work of genius that encompasses music, words and a powerful spiritual message. This is a brilliant example of a man taking his personal tragedy and using it to give back to the universe his love and healing. I can hear this playing in the background of a cinematic tribute to the different peoples of the world and how they worship and provide music for their people. 

Voice of the Ancestors is an incredible gift for all to enjoy. Listen closely, you may hear the whispers of your own ancestors in this music.

February 8, 2019
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
1. Transcendent Soul 3:12
2. The Banteay Srei Temple 4:57
3. Guardians of Goddess Thien Hau 6:08
4. Voice of the Ancestors 8:40
5. Peace Prayer A’ Cappella 1:50
6. Peace Prayer 10:11
7. Ambient Meditation 8:08
8. Peace Prayer (short version) 5:06



New Age Contemporary Instrumental Review: Acoustic Ocean-Blue Moon Rising

Release Date: September 9, 2018
Label: Natural Health Source Publishing, Natural Health Source, Inc

Acoustic Ocean is the collaboration of two veteran musicians and recording artists, Peggy Morgan and Bette Phelan. The music of Acoustic Ocean reflects the musical and healing arts backgrounds of the artists as well as the beauty of the Hawaiian Islands, which helped to inspire the music. After a successful touring career that spanned 20-years, Morgan and Phelan relocated to Hawaii to pursue careers in the healing arts. (Past Tense Excerpt from Artist Website). 

Blue Moon Rising is the most recent release and the first since the passing of Peggy. The album is dedicated to the memory of Peggy Morgan, Bette’s music partner of 40 years, and to Nancy Phelan, her mother.

Bette is joined on Blue Moon Rising by Kay Aldrich, on cello. Additional instruments, played by Bette, augment all the arrangements. The music is very earthy and pure. The acoustic instruments are wonderful and used with just the right instances within each track. The use of the ocean hitting the shore adds to the natural sounds that are presented.

The acoustic guitar is the primary instrument. It is played flawlessly and with the addition of the cello, you get a new age world classical sound that will please anyone’s musical palette. If you are into relaxing meditative music you will love Blue Moon Rising. The layers of guitar work are exquisite.

One look at the cover of this recording sets you at ease and gives you the thought of inner light, spirituality and the connection we have with mother earth. The ocean is the most prolific thing to human life because that is where all of life came from. And purposely the name Acoustic Ocean falls in line with that thought process not mention that is exactly what you will hear on Blue Moon Rising. There is an ocean of acoustic sounds all melded together to create a musical nirvana for the soul. The eleven tracks offered the listener, flow together seamlessly and hit you gently like an ocean wave on a warm summer day.

What is there not to like about any of this? I appreciate what has been presented here and the meaning of the music along with the heartfelt dedication from the artist. It all goes hand in hand.

Here is a passage from the artist website that ends this review in a thoughtful and spiritual way:

The moon is associated with women’s mysteries, intuition, and the divine aspects of the sacred feminine. Some modern magical traditions associate the Blue Moon with the growth of knowledge and wisdom within the phases of a woman’s life.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
October 11, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
01. A Hui Hou (Until We Meet Again)
02. Blue Moon Rising
03. Recalling Beauty
04. Deep Grace / Scarborough Fair
05. Spirit Awakening
06. Lotus Petals Falling on the Pacific
07. Love Is a Force Field
08. The Silent Storm
09. Sweet Mana from Heaven
10. Shadow Dancers
11. All Things Made New

New Age-Classical Review: Christine Brown-Ascend

Release Date: October 1, 2017
Label: Key Image Music
It has been 4 years since I had the opportunity to enjoy writing about a Christine Brown recording. I covered Souvenirs in 2014. Looking back into the archives I see that I was ill at the time of my first listening experience and her music helped me get in a positive frame of mind and get well again.

Ascend was released in October of 2017, which now seems ions away with the warm weather upon us in May. As people find ascension in life it can come in many different forms, and it also can be disguised as something else that is happening. Even the definition of the word can take different forms such as to move upward, to slope upward, or to conduct nerve impulses toward or to the brain.  

I think in this case those definitions can apply to all fourteen tracks offered on the recording. The beauty and simplicity of solo piano music is something special. I look at it as an uplifting and pure representation of an instrument. The ivory keys in the right hands can bring heaven to earth and peace to one’s soul. I realize that is a prolific statement to make about music however that is the way I truly feel.

Ascend had a positive effect on me. The nerve impulses to my brain engaged my thought process and released all of those good endorphins.  I liked the way Christine explained the process of making the album. She stated in one passage in a sentence in the liner notes “Creating music is a beautiful and evolving process. Each piece develops through many stages, slowly transforming until each song is ready to be released, just like the life cycle of a butterfly, until it finally emerges from the chrysalis.”

That is a brilliant comparison to one of the miracles of nature. This is an accurate statement to make, in my opinion, about the birth of a track from start to finish. I have always looked at the creation of each track as a bit of a miracle, and those that are able to create on such a level are the blessed that walk this great planet of ours.

If you want to Ascend from daily life, relax, absorb, reflect and heal, music can get you there, just let it take you. Christine Brown will gently push you there if you cannot just fall into it and be swept away like some fortunate listeners. This is a journey and one that can be therapeutic in several ways. Ascending from self, sidestepping the ego of our humanity, and letting the music take over is the best choice you can make. Look what happened when Christine let the music flow through her fingers…

5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
May 14, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
01. Ascend
02. Love’s Legacy
03. Magic Carpet
04. Gravity
05. Closer
06. Forest for the Trees
07. Ivory Wings
08. Lotus Breeze
09. Floating Colors
10. Soar
11. Cherish
12. The Departure
13. Amethyst Sky
14. Safe and Sound


Instrumental New Age Reviews: Robin Spielberg-On the Edge of a Dream - Music for Dreaming, Relaxation, Contemplation, Meditation, Medical

Release Date: March 2, 2018
Label: playMountain Music

Add caption
On the Edge of a Dream - Music for Dreaming, Relaxation, Contemplation, Meditation, Medical Therapies is Robin Spielberg’s 18th album. That is a lot of recorded music! Piano-based music requires an imaginative mindset in order to give a potential listener some variety. A lot of this type of music seamlessly flows into each other making it sound like one piece of music. I find in most cases I feel that way because of my own tastes and interpretations, this could be entirely different for each listener.

Sometimes things come to you in your life at just the right time. For me it always comes with purpose, a good reason whether it is positive or negative. That is the way life is, however, it is all how you look at what is happening. This is where dreams come into it for me. This album is all about the dream state. Most recently I have had some amazing clear dreams and last year I started keeping a journal. This is exactly what Robin does and she wanted to share her dreams through the music of the piano. The other purpose in my estimation is that this music could help you to not only relax but get to a point where you are ready to enter the dream state or possibly all the way to REM stage. All of this I have found fascinating. I also believe that dreams are a window into your soul and we can learn lessons or be warned through them. It clarifies things and opens the door to change.

There is no doubt that science has a fascination with the different stages of dreaming. What I have learned through my own research has opened the door to an entirely different attitude about the subject. So how does music, particularly Robin’s new release, come in to play? I think this music is perfect for the dreaming experience before, during and after. So, during those three stages, you can utilize this beautiful music. Of course, there are more useful ways to use the music as a tool - for simple relaxation, contemplation or meditation. As I mentioned earlier, certainly the music can guide you beyond the meditative state into dreaming, particularly if you are listening with a good pair of headphones or earbuds (Bose makes a terrific set of earbuds that are reasonably priced on eBay).

On the Edge of a Dream is another example of how music can integrate with your daily life. The workspace I am in daily allows us at times to put on music like this recording. It can help you to de-stress as you continue with your multitude of tasks. If you are in an office setting you should try it, it really helps!
 
Another bonus offered for your experiences with this music is a dream journal, which can be purchased separately or as a companion item with the CD. I highly recommend getting both. It starts with the 14 tracks on the CD, then writing down what happened in your dreams. This process will allow a lot of insight you previously did not have. It is all part of a spiritual growth you can initiate if you choose.

I am grateful that artists like Robin Spielberg are willing to share their blessings with us, and shed some light on a human process that many folks are not looking at enough. On the Edge of a Dream could be the start of a new beginning. You can begin as a casual listener then evolve to meditation then dream interpretation. A tremendous wealth of information about your life and the future days ahead is at your disposal (there is a lot of info out there). And who would have thought one recording could lead to so much personal development? I highly recommend this path for those who are already aware and for those seeking more awareness.

5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
February 18, 2018
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks: 
01. On the Edge of A Dream  
02. We Meet Again
03. Drifting
04. Spellbound  
05. Nightfall
06. The Secret Path  
07. Stargazing
09. Illusion
10. Into The Night  
11. Safe and Sound  
12. Meeting Monet
1.  We Meet Again (Recurring Dream)
14. Blue Moon Rising

New Age-Meditation Review: Sangeeta Kaur-Ascension - Niguma Vol. 2 The Mantra Project

Release Date: September 22, 2017
Label: Sangeeta Kaur Music

Sangeeta Kaur’s recent album has a lot to say and the complexity of the title certainly makes sense. It is only the beginning if you choose to do some exploring.

Ascension - Niguma Vol. 2 The Mantra Project is one of the more interesting and compelling music projects I have had the opportunity to hear this year. 

An excerpt from the artist website reads:
Who is Lady Niguma and in these modern times, why should we care? With grace and powered by an awe-inspiring production, Sangeeta and her company of yogi & yogini artists extraordinarily provide an answer of inspiration.

This will give the potential listeners some insight into what this music is about. If you want to learn all the details I highly recommend visiting the artist website. Based on what I garnered from the CD booklet there is quite a musical production that accompanies this music and it looks fantastic.

In most cases I do not favor music in any other language than English because I really want to understand what the artist is singing about. I did my due diligence and got a better idea while listening and after the music stopped. This was a different perspective I fell into and instantly while taking in this recording. I was pleasantly surprised with how it made me feel.

Sangeeta has a gorgeous angelic voice that melts into your soul and hangs on tight. This album was so different and refreshing that I sincerely enjoyed every track. Some of the music is prolific and larger than life. The resounding drum beats and layers of instruments intertwine into an audible journey of divinity. This women’s voice ranges from silky smooth to operatic dependent on the pace and movements in each track. There is never a time where I felt disinterested, it was quite the opposite actually. I was wondering what was coming next.

If focus brought on by the light of the human spirit is what you seek you shall find it on this recording. If you happen to enjoy it as much as I did, it will be over before you know. This is comparable to doing a task you love and time becomes irrelevant. And it should be in this case because what you receive from Ascension - Niguma Vol. 2 The Mantra Project, is a new focal point filled with positive vibrations. This music will soothe your soul and clear your mind. I say that with conviction. I can see now how this music was set to the stage with all the dance, yoga movements and the colors brought to life.  An audience would simply be mesmerized. This is beauty in motion with words and music ...


5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck



November 3, 2017

Founder of:


Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:  
01. All Space And Time (Intro)
02. Niguma, I Bow To You
03 .Dream Tunnel
04. This Beautiful World (Featuring Kassé Mady Diabaté)
05. Summer's Dance
06. Lascia Ch'io Pianga (Full Orchestra Version)
07. Samsara's Tango
08. Ascension (Featuring Tahir Qawwal)
09. Deum De Deo (Featuring The Hungarian Studio Choir)
10. Ardas Bhaee (Full Orchestra Version)
 

Instrumental New Age/Classical Review: Terry Lee Nichols-At Peace Beneath the Shade of My Father’s Tree

Release Date: August 19, 2016
Label: Heart Dance Records

Terry Lee Nichols first release has a very long and descriptive title. At Peace Beneath the Shade of My Father’s Tree is a great title actually, and if you look at that title and the cover of the CD, you can see a story. So without ever hearing the music there is something happening. I would have to say that is a very good start.

Terry said: “I tried to create a soundscape/film score backdrop that reflected specific events throughout my life.” That statement tends to put it all into proper perspective for the listener.

There are 17 tracks that move along at a brisk pace. It seemed like before I knew it I was on track 6. This is because I was really enjoying what I was hearing. Being swept away by the music and hearing the story narrated by all the instruments is a beautiful thing.

The title track opens the door to the great outdoors pictured on the cover of the album. The music ushers in the atmosphere and sets the tone like any good opener should. First impressions are everything when you are listening to an album. I have always believed when you open that curtain to your audience, you better make an impact real soon or you will lose them…Terry Lee gets the job done. He captivates you and captures your spirit and imagination. Personal experiences of joy and emotional pain bring about many things and music can be the universal translator.

“Timekeeper” clocks in, no pun intended, at 3:07 and the pace is like that of a watch keeping good time. The piano rolls along but ever so delicately while bringing the listener to the end of the line in the most intentionally gentle way. The ride goes by much too fast but you are so appreciative. Short and sweet, this track makes a good impression from start to finish much like all of its predecessors.

The musicianship is outstanding on this recording and it definitely is the kind of quality music you would hear on a grade A film. It also provides deep relaxation and a thought process that is more clear and precise than you could have during a busy day at work. It is not easy to empty out what is between your ears, and music such as this gives you carte blanche to do so.

I have heard such gorgeous instrumental music this year, it moves me, makes me reflective, grateful, happy, sad, reminiscent, basically the entire range of human emotion is prompted to rise within me and the music is my escort. That to me is the key to success with any recording.

“On My Way To See The Dancing Sisters Figg” is an upbeat track with Celtic World flavor with a nod to the classical genre however it ends up an amalgamation of them all and then becomes an instrumental new age masterpiece. It is a short jaunt coming in at 2:57 but I felt an injection of joy with a hint of the past smiling at me as it faded away. This was one of my favorites for its sparkling movements and how it changed my melancholy mood into joy in an instant. Once again the power of the music took me away and had a strong influence on my senses and reaction to the vibrations. 

“Sailing” is wonderful melody like a bright sunny day with a clear blue sky and I did just sail away with it. It also gave me the gift of freedom and spirituality. I always loved sailing on the lake with my father, god rest his soul. Joy with a hint of sadness is what I felt but the thoughts of freedom of the wind and waves gave me chills. It was all good so thank you Terry Lee.

At Peace Beneath the Shade of My Father’s Tree is real triumph for the maiden voyage of artist Terry Lee Nichols. Putting out something so inspired and precise for a first album is an amazing accomplishment. The future certainly looks bright for this gentleman.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: At Peace Beneath the Shade of My Father’s Tree, Timekeeper, On My Way To See The Dancing Sisters Figg


Tracks:
 

01. At Peace Beneath the Shade of My Father's Tree
02. Only You
03. Follow Me
04. Reflections
05. Appassionato
06. Timekeeper
07. Train to Dachau
08. Pamela's Time
09. On My Way To See The Dancing Sisters Figg
10. A Winter's Tale
11. Sailing
12. Crossroads
13. A Curious Life
14. Last Train Home
15. Autumn
16. Lullaby
17. Requiescat

 
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
August 23, 2016
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

New Age Instrumental Review: Bill Wren-Road To Chiang Mai

Release Date: July 26, 2016
Label: Independent

Bill Wren has a story for those who may be going through a tough spot in their lives and he gives you inspiration once you find out more about his life and music. Bill’s latest release Road To Chiang Mai was inspired by his trip to Thailand and finding his soul mate and starting a new life. This is a collaborative effort between several musicians and the two main composers Bill Wren and Frank Ralls.

The first track I had the pleasure of hearing was the magical trance like “Enchanted Kingdom” which was featured on our Rate The Tracks site. This is a magnificent and picturesque track that lifts you up and never lets you down. Of course the musicianship is beyond reproach and always timely and rhythmic, like the heartbeat of mother earth in sync with all living things.

“Harmonia” is another amazing and inspiring track. It sounds like a soundtrack to enlightening movie about traveling in some far away land and witnessing all the wonders you have never seen before. The blend of instruments creates a gorgeous wall of sound. The orchestration is what carries everything else in this track and it holds its head high like a noble warrior after victory.

Some of the instruments used are acoustic and electric guitars, cello, bass, live strings, mandolin, banjo, penny whistle, drums, piano and orchestral programming. It is a mind boggling variety of sounds and color splashes on the musical canvas that continually paints a masterpiece.

As Bill says “Music is the way I express what is in my heart without words.” And with that the Road To Chiang Mai is a direct link to your mind, body and spirit or in other words it goes straight to the heart and radiates out into the triangle of life. You can tell the artist is a gentle soul and the music speaks that with clarity and purpose.

“The Other Side” is a good example of the gentle touch within a track. Female vocals are added to give it a touch class and more of pop flavor than the other tracks however the orchestration gives it the necessary foundation to build the rest of the track. There is a certain element in every composition that the rest of the instruments float over and melt into and this one really stands out.

Road To Chiang Mai is a great album. I really appreciated all the elements that came together to make it such a wonderful music flight.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Enchanted Kingdom, Harmonia, The Other Side

Tracks:

 01. Enchanted Kingdom - (Feat. Frank Ralls)
02. The Other Side - (Feat. Frank Ralls)
03. Ponder Dust - (Feat. Ann Marie Calhoun)
04. The Beginning
05. Road To Chiang Mai
06. Harmonia
07. Journey Around The Sun - (Feat. Frank Ralls)
08. Longing - (Feat. Frank Ralls)
09. Memories - (Feat. Frank Ralls)
10. The Way It Was
11. Land Of Smiles
12. Today In Paradise
13. Ebb And Flow
 
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
August 16, 2016
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews


Instrumental New Age/Classical: Samer Fanek-Wishful Thinking

Release Date: July 22, 2016
Label: Independent

Samer Fanek’s first release Wishful Thinking was just released a few weeks ago. It is with great pleasure I introduce this talented young pianist to an audience eager to hear an emerging talent playing instrumental new age music with a definitive classical influence.

Just as his website indicates, Samer's compositions blend the piano and orchestral instruments with the more contemporary, including synthesizers, rock and ethnic instruments. He cites Yanni and others as an influence and you will most certainly hear that panoramic and cinematic sound as the curtain opens on this ambitious recording.

The title track engages you right away providing a marvelous introduction to Samer’s sound. “Freefall” is exciting track filled with keyboards and orchestrations. When you look at the cover of this CD it projects simplicity however this music is far from that. It is definitely a “Freefall” into a wall of sound and oh so beautiful.

If you are “Ready to Go” this track is a whirling dervish of textured keyboards and colorful nuances. It is tastefully done as he presents it with a forcefulness to push the music out but with a determination and grace that only an accomplished keyboard maestro can provide.

To make sure you see all the emotions and a different side of his musical interpretations he creates a touch of divine inspiration with tracks like “Fantasy.” Picture yourself floating up to the heavens as the other spiritual beings come down to greet you and carry you away. The song creates a nice floating sensation that made me feel connected and spiritual thus making it easy for my own interpretation of the track.

You have to be a true visionary to create instrumental music so full of life and emotion. Samer Fanek has recorded a superlative debut and I would expect that he will be recognized in short order. I think the folks in not only in the music industry but in films need to take notice of this young man’s talent. It is a nice relaxing experience to hear this music but I sure can hear it playing as a soundtrack in a movie as well. So the options are endless for music such as this.

The anticipation for more great music already begins once the CD is finished playing. For now you will have to hit play again until he returns with a second installment of instrumental bliss.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Freefall, Ready to Go, Fantasy

Tracks:

01. Wishful Thinking
02. Universe
03. Freefall
04. Fairytale
05. Lost Waltz
06. Ready to Go
07. Left Behind
08. Fantasy
09. Desperation
10. Escape
11. Remember Me
12. Exhibition   
13. Finding Closure
 
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
Founder of:
August 5, 2016
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Instrumental New Age Review: Crystalline Dream-Threshold

Release Date: July 10, 2006
Label: Solovey Music

Crystalline Dream is a band with the intent to craft a vision with every album they perform. Threshold is the entryway to a journey of enlightenment, with each album gaining the listener increased wisdom.  The main band members for Crystalline Dream include Richard Ross, Korey Ross and guest artist Peter Phippen.

The first track on the album is "Threshold." Ethereal and drifting with flutes and an electronica based backdrop, the music brought me to a place of introspection far away from the swirling chaos that makes up most of my days. It was as if I were perched on a threshold to another place…a place of peace and tranquility that if I just took another step, it could be mine. The flute urges you forward even as the cosmic wave of the electronica pushes and whispers you to a dwelling where that elusive joy is hiding. Voices break over you and the music funnels you down a new rabbit hole…the journey is just beginning.

"Inner Peace" is another song that captured my attention at the onset. Harp sounds and chirping insects make it seem as if you, the listener, are in the middle of a forest, being lulled forward toward an enchanted paradise. Just one step closer toward the pool…just one more. The ethereal music drifts in the background like a hidden current pushing you along toward your destination. This is what happiness sounds like and if sound could be painted in color, it would be a spiraling ribbon of shimmering blue, wrapping around and around in layers of gossamer silk, one delicate note at a time.

"Borealis" urges you toward the end of your comfort zone. Icy and grinding, you mark your passage with effort and are ever working toward your next destination. The price of enlightenment comes with great perseverance. The sound of flutes and the bitter winter wind skitter along the top of the ice as you reach for the next fork in the road…the next vision of flickering lights to direct your path forward. Beautiful and treacherous, the way ahead will not be an easy one. Growling and grinding electronica and percussive elements mark your progress and the undying urge to find enlightenment at any cost.

Crystalline Dream have begun a journey of sorts with Threshold. Using the ethereal and at times sparse elements of electronic music, it is blended with percussive elements, flute, harp and other sounds such as whispered chants or insects. This instrumental New Age experience focuses on enlightenment and is the beginning of what so far is a five album progression toward grace. It is a pleasant sounding album that any fan of New Age music will vastly enjoy.


4/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Threshold, Borealis, Inner Peace

Tracks: 
01. Threshold
02. Ethereal Gauze
03. Solar Flight
04. Evensong
05. Inner Peace
06. West Wind
07. Crystalline Dream 1
08. Crystalline Dream 2
09. Crystalline Dream 3
10. Borealis
11. Threshold (Reprise)

 
Dana Wright, Sr. Staff Writer
July 9, 2016
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews