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Album Review: Inspired
Bryan Carrigan
Cover image of the album Inspired by Bryan Carrigan
Bryan Carrigan
2014 / Peonies Music
46 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Inspired is Bryan Carrigan’s fifth album of original music and he calls it “a soundtrack for inspired life.” Blending the genres of ambient, new age, and positive chill out, Inspired’s twelve tracks take the listener on a sonic journey through hope, joy, contentment, and elation. A producer, engineer, music editor, synth programmer, scoring sound designer, remixer and composer of electronic music, Carrigan’s career has encompassed virtually all music genres while working in the recording, television and film industries, lending his skills to hundreds of diverse projects. His previous release, Below Zero, was awarded “Best Chill/Groove” album for 2013 by Zone Music Reporter and his album, Windows, was a nominee for best ambient album in 2012. Inspired will no doubt continue this trend! While Carrigan’s music is distinctive and unique, some of this album reminds me a bit of some of Ray Lynch’s classic electronic music - mostly because of its buoyant spirit and masterful musicality.

Inspired begins with “Elation,” an energetic piano-based piece that mixes strings, guitar and keyboard sounds with an infectious rhythm and soaring joy. “Hope” expresses how I imagine floating on a cloud would feel with a repeating rhythm pattern behind ethereal washes of sound - very relaxed and soothing. “Lemon Drops” is vibrant and joyful, incorporating world rhythms with guitar sounds, voices, and layered instrumentation. I don’t think it’s possible to feel down in the dumps while listening to this one! “Floating Above” returns us to that sonic cloud and sense of blissful contentment. “Along the Path” is relaxed yet gives the impression of moving forward at a lively pace. “Kaleidoscope” kicks up the rhythm a bit behind montages of sounds that swirl and merge as the title suggests. Bright and in constant motion, it exudes feelings of freedom and joy. “Caravan” becomes more exotic and edgy while “Really Fun Song” just about dances out of the speakers with its high energy and giggling good humor (my favorite track!). “Warm Embrace” returns us to a more ambient, ethereal feeling that surrounds the listener like a lingering hug. “Offerings” closes the album with peaceful washes of sound that gently soothe and uplift, leaving the listener refreshed and feeling positive.

Bryan Carrigan has now established himself as one of the leading artists in the ambient, chill, and new age categories and Inspired will give you a really good idea of why that is. If you are new to Bryan’s music, be sure to check this one out. Fans of his previous releases will love this one, too! Inspired is available from www.bryancarrigan.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Highly recommended!
September 12, 2014
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