Thursday, November 14, 2019

Album Review: A Presence of Three Minds by Holland Phillips

Holland Phillips is a seasoned composer and keyboardist who’s released a successive string of albums over the past several years. Comprised of 11 compositions spanning approximately 45 minutes total, his latest full-length recording, A Presence of Three Minds, delivers more of the enjoyably familiar style that has come to characterize Phillips’ congenial sound, with its innocuous melodies comprised of notably vintage-sounding keyboards arrangements.

Seemingly infused with some of the stylistic underpinnings of Yanni’s and David Arkenstone’s earliest works, as well as taking a few cues from Tangerine Dream’s late 80s to mid-90s sound, A Presence of Three Minds could easily be mistaken for an album recorded three decades prior at the height of new age music’s popularity. Whether the distinctive vintage element that largely defines Phillips' music is produced by a conscious effort on the part of the artist or not, it has certainly been a key component to his sound with every album by him I've listened to thus far.

Likewise, synthesized string arrangements and gossamer vocal textures lend a whimsical 1980s fantasy film-era touch to many of these pieces, which simultaneously veer into neoclassical easy listening territory along the way. Ultimately however, A Presence of Three Minds is bona fide contemporary instrumental music with fanciful new age overtones that I warmly recommend to fans of retro-style recordings within this genre! ~Candice Michelle

For more information please visit the artist's website. This album is also available at Amazon, iTunes and other retail & streaming platforms.