This is the fifth album released by Holland Phillips, a multi-instrumentalist from Ohio. The theme of the album is the idea that life is full of circles, and the idea of vibrations (hertz) as a fundamental frequency of life that relates to meetings, connections, feelings, and love. The album explores those resonances.

The instrumental songs on the album include piano, synthesizer, woodwinds, brass, bass, harpsichord, and a range of percussion instruments. Phillips plays acoustic and electric guitar on two cuts. Guest musician Paul Christensen plays saxophones on two songs. Phillips integrates sounds from keyboards from the early 70s and 80s, like mini-Moogs, to add unique sounds.

The music is a mix of new age and neo-classical music influenced by progressive rock. There are strong melodies that keep the songs coherent and flowing. The piano is one of the main melodic instruments, which gives the songs a feeling of familiarity. The union of digital and orchestral instruments gives the music a great deal of accessibility. The songs are:

1    Starting Over
2    Night tracks
3    Stephanie’s Song
4    The Journey
5    Strains of an Ancient Path
6    Save the Dance
7    Circles of Eight
8    The Moment
9    Marking Time
10    Classic by Design
11    Lullabye for Us

Track 4 “The Journey” is reminiscent of Tangerine Dream material. The percussion in the songs keeps the energy flowing without becoming overwhelming.

This album has songs that would work well in ritual settings, for circle castings and closings. Some may use the entire album for background to a ceremony. The music will definitely appeal to people who enjoy sounds that lean toward neo-classical but with rhythm and modern melodic sensibilities.

~review by Elizabeth Hazel

Artist: Holland Phillips
Holland Phillips, 2016
Ageless Records, 2016
11 tracks, 50:10 minutes
CD $17.51, mp3 $9.49