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Album Review: Somewhere There's a Time
James Michael Stevens
Cover image of the album Somewhere There's a Time by James Michael Stevens
Somewhere There's a Time
James Michael Stevens
2023 / James M Stevens Music
29 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Somewhere There's a Time is a collection of ten original piano solos composed and performed by James Michael Stevens. The music is expressive of a variety of moods and experiences, many of them centered around the beauty of nature. The album is perfect for relaxation, a romantic dinner, doing homework, easy listening, and any time beautiful piano music is appropriate. In addition to being an incredibly prolific composer for piano, organ, choirs, and various ensembles, Dr. Stevens is the Dean of The School of Music at Welch College in Gallatin, TN. With currently 7229 items for sale on SheetMusicPlus.com, he now has more music on that site than even the busiest composers you can think of for any genre or era. This is the twenty-fourth album of his that I've reviewed since December 2019, and that's just scratching the surface!

Somewhere There's a Time begins with the title track, a dreamy and reflective piece that could have been inspired by a nostalgic look back to a happy memory or imagining something wonderful that might happen in the future. "Moments of Serenity" is based around a series of cascading broken chords on the right hand that act as something of a mind massage. "Easy as the Springtime" is warm and relaxed, much like a gentle breeze in a garden that is reawakening after a long winter. "Birchwood Holler" is a bit darker and more mysterious with a left hand that ventures into the deep bass of the piano - a favorite! An elegy is a piece that expresses sadness - often in honor of someone who has passed away. "Elegy at Broken Lake" eloquently expresses that kind of emotion with grace and sincerity. "On a Peaceful Day" captures the easy spirit of one of those rare days when nothing can go wrong. The quickly flowing rhythm of "Crystal Stream" is in constant motion and carries with it a beautiful sparkle - also a favorite. I can't think of many more beautiful sights than a field of tulips of all colors bowing their heads to a gentle breeze. "Tulip Lane" brings images of just such a scene - relaxed and graceful. "Reflection Pond" expresses a beautiful stillness, but is also a bit mysterious and poignant. The album closes with my favorite track, "Blue Moon Nocturne." In fact, this could be my favorite piece I've heard of James Michael Stevens' compositions - so far, anyway! Deeply emotional and sincere, it seems to express feelings and thoughts that flow through the mind during the night - or even once in a "blue moon." The slowly flowing rhythm is very soothing, while the melancholy melody tugs at the heartstrings. Love it!

Somewhere There's a Time is available from Amazon, Apple Music/ iTunes and streaming sites including Spotify. The sheet music for the album is available as a complete collection or individual pieces from SheetMusicPlus.com and SheetMusicDirect.com. The songbook is also reviewed on MainlyPiano.com.
July 21, 2023
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