Monday, September 7, 2020

A Momentary Pause By Holland Phillips


A Momentary Pause


Holland Phillips

Written by

Steve Sheppard


It is always a total pleasure to listen to the music of Holland Phillips, my earliest memories of his outstanding compositions goes back to 2015 and Daydream Alley, and I have been a fan ever since. His colourful and artistic ability to create such memory filled arrangements and truly moving opuses, still pleases me greatly to this day, and now I am elated to be reviewing the artists latest release A Momentary Pause, a 10 track collection of superb music to enjoy.

The beginning of this album starts with one of the most picturesque offerings the artist has created for some time in Upon Awakening; the delightful keyboards of Phillips manifest a wondrous song of new beginnings and fresh starts, as a soft late summer sun filters in through the curtains, in an idyllic opening indeed.

Whispers is our next offering and allows us the ever eager listener, to wander freely within its uncomplicated tones, the gentleness of the arrangement and the care and attention to detail by the artist is truly something to marvel at; this is such a soothing musical passage, that the quality of its compositional structure is like musical chocolate for the soul.

This next piece is Phillips in his traditional hunting ground with this fine melodic offering entitled Our Sweeter Days, the rise and fall of the mood to this track and the sheer emotional content is a blissful thing indeed, as are the subtle but clever chord changes that cleverly emphasise a reflective mood.

There is a certain mournful quality about this next composition entitled Stepping Stones, but one that also offers up a shining beacon of hope within its construction too. This is one of those pieces you might play when deep in thought about your next steps in life, and how to move on from what has just passed, this is a beautiful symphonic offering by Phillips that touches the very inner realms of the heart.

At the half way juncture we come across a beautiful flowing musical narrative called Dreaming on Ice. The sense of movement is incredible and one can feel from the arrangement an energy of wonder and possibilities, ones that are craft fully created on this most gracious and happy composition; the guitar sounds mixed with the ever onward piano was simply perfect.

As we take a tentative step into the latter half of the release we come across an almost mysterious offering called Palindrome. The musical journey on keyboards here is truly crafted and cleverly arranged, and gives us the ever eager listener, a momentary pause, no pun intended, to think and re-imagine our thoughts both forward and back. I also loved the hint of music from ancient times that seemed to flow deep within the weave of the composition as well.

As we move ever deeper into this collection of truly splendid songs we now come to the doorway of a track named Study in Patterns. This powerful opus certainly hits the musical spot, and the added tension and sense of suspense gave the piece a lush cinematic feel to the arrangement.

One of my personal favourites would be this one; it sits beautifully within the last few tracks of the release, and is perfectly placed to receive much joy from its listeners.  Casting Shadows is classic Phillips, that emotive sound, that mix of moods, reflective and joyful; they’re all here in one amazingly moving arrangement.

A Holland Phillips title track is usually something to really look forward to and this continues that theme with great cheer. A Momentary Pause is also the penultimate offering off the album, and easily a piece that could be released as a single too. The performance here by the artist is breath taking, if you ever wished to hear a track that sums up just who Holland Phillips is in the world of New Age music, this anthem like opus would be a perfect example of his cultured genius.

So sadly it’s our last piece for another album, it’s time to snuggle down your weary head, the sandman said it’s time for bed, and your dreams are waiting. We can do that by bathing in this last creative composition called Bedtime Prayers. This song is the perfect ending track; it has everything, a gentle refrain and also a grand but sensitive symphonic gesture, in a final and touching composition from Phillips musically inspired mind.

A Momentary Pause is Phillips ninth release and another perfect collection of wonderfully worked pieces from the artist, whom with each album becomes more creative as time goes by, as well as more colourful in texture and tone. A Momentary Pause will be one of those releases that will enrich your mood, and possibly even be the soundtrack to your life’s journey in reflection, it is that good and so easy to recommend.

No comments:

Post a Comment