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Album Review: Finding Solace
Philip Wesley
Cover image of the album Finding Solace by Philip Wesley
Finding Solace
Philip Wesley
2003 / Autumn Music Productions
44 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Finding Solace is Philip Wesley’s debut recording, and consists of twelve original and very personal piano solos. Most of the tracks have a lovely, soothing flow to them, and there is a gentle simplicity to Wesley’s approach that is elegant and heartfelt. I don’t usually compare one artist to another, but some of the pieces are heavily influenced by David Lanz - especially “Lamentations of the Heart,” “Still Waters Run Deep,” and “Tabatha’s Song” -and are actually some of my favorite tracks. I mention this only because I think fans of Lanz’s earlier solo piano music will probably really enjoy this album.

The CD opens with “At This Moment,” which is based on an improvisation done on Wesley’s wedding day on the church piano to settle pre-wedding nerves. Thoughtful and optimistic, he doesn’t sound too nervous after all! “Celestial Reverie” is much more expansive and open - as the title suggests, a little bit sparkly and a lot dreamy. “Journey Home” was the first piano piece Wesley ever composed. Inspired by a college music writing assignment, the piece is peaceful, but also has a sense of moving forward. “Lamentations of the Heart” is much sadder, but is very beautiful and deeply emotional - I love this track! “Ocean of Color” refers to the autumn colors St. Louis, and is a bit more abstract and improvisational. “Tabatha’s Song” is about first love, and has a sweet poignance and innocence. “The Awakening” comes from deep introspection and the internal journey of reevaluating one’s life. Wesley shares the experience with grace and openness.

Finding Solace is an excellent debut, and I look forward to hearing future projects! The stories behind the music are found at philipwesley.com. Music samples can be heard at cdstreet.com and cdbaby.com, and purchases can be made at either of those sites as well as amazon.com. I have enjoyed this CD a lot!
June 28, 2004
This review has been tagged as:
Debut Albums
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(contributing artist)