Standing In Motion
2022 / Ageless Records
Review by Kathy Parsons
Standing In Motion is multi-instrumentalist/composer Holland Phillips' eleventh album and was composed mostly late at night and into the early morning hours (as was his previous release, Eleven After Midnight). All ten tracks on the album are originals, and Holland played all of the instruments (pianos, synths, guitars and flutes) and engineered the album as well. He says in the liner notes of the CD that he has always sought to incorporate more ambient sounds into his style of new age/neo-classical music, but that "all of the late nights brought me to a place where I was able to incorporate more of those sounds and feels into this music than any other I've done previously. And somehow those sounds gave the album a feeling of profoundness and depth I hadn't been expecting." As has been true of all eight of Holland's albums that I've reviewed, it is impossible to put this music into one specific genre - always a good thing, I think! It is a unique blending of new age, neo-classical, pop, and ambient styles that gives Holland's music its distinctive sound.
Standing In Motion begins with the title track, one of the more ambient pieces of the ten. Soothing strings and keyboards set the relaxing pace and gentle mood of the album - a really nice start! "Finding Solace" is a favorite. More piano-driven and melodic, strings, flute and guitar enhance the smooth yet melancholy and introspective feeling of the piece. "Matters of the Heart" expresses the feeling of sharing your deepest thoughts with someone dear and the comfort that can bring. "Hours Until Dawn" picks up the tempo a bit with some interesting percussion and bass rhythms driving the piano, guitar and strings - also a favorite. I'd love to know the story behind "Trail of the Pixies," but it's fun to make up your own! This one also has a driving rhythm behind horns, electric guitar, strings and other synth/keyboard instrumentation. A bit dark and mysterious, I really like this one, too! "Times That Bond" feels like a romantic slow dance with a gently swaying rhythm and strings, keyboard and flute. It would be beautiful behind the closing credits of a romantic movie! "The Bells of St Moritz" returns to a more ambient style, but is also quite cinematic and visual. "Chasing Daylight" goes in a more upbeat direction with a catchy rhythm behind piano, flute and keyboards - my favorite track on the album! "Reasons to Dream" is warm, blissful and well, dreamy! The smooth, even tone of the piece gently relaxes and reassures that all is well. The ending track, "At the Close," envelops the listener in a warm musical hug that will have you coming back for more.
I think Standing In Motion is my favorite of Holland Phillips' albums (so far!) - and I've enjoyed them all! It is available from Amazon, Apple Music/iTunes, and many streaming sites including Spotify. Check it out!
September 28, 2022