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Album Review: Reflections
Kelly Andrew
Cover image of the album Reflections by Kelly Andrew
Kelly Andrew
2011 / Journey Music Entertainment
42 minutes
Review by Michael Debbage
For the most part taking the time to review the artistic accomplishments of a musician is very rewarding. But there are times in creative and critical writing when you just feel like what is the point and let’s just put the pen down and be done. Just when you are about to do that, an extremely accomplished new release comes across your desk that makes you reflect on that position. And that is exactly what Reflections did courtesy of the astonishing music, arrangements and production found on this relatively unknown talent Kelly Andrew.

New to this reviewer, self taught pianist and producer, Kelly Andrew is a rising talent who has been recording music since 2007 when he released his remarkable debut Olympus. Though leaning more on electronic effects, the symphonic arrangements were still very impressive but when compared with his latest release Reflections, Kelly spared no expense recording with multiple members of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.

While his website makes no reference to his artistic influences there is no doubt that his music draws from the accessible influences of Yanni as well as the emotional tug of Secret Garden. Yet Kelly Andrew has his own distinct flavor that will draw goose bumps on your skin. Opening with the mid tempo impressive “Once Upon A Time”, Andrew follows this up with “You Strengthen Me” that includes a gorgeous cascading chorus courtesy of his piano and string arrangements. There is no doubt he is aiming for the emotional jugular. The poignant pull on the heartstrings continues via the title track with the violin work driving the song quietly home.

Even though Kelly focuses on the emotional jugular it is never at the expense of his music being overwrought or simple ear candy. This is best exemplified by the moody and rather melancholy “In The Shadows” with the flute of Rodney Garnett being the central instrumentation. Prior to that the more introspective “Precious Moment” is less obvious but repeated visits to the song will slowly and seductively invite you in and before you know it you’re hooked. And somewhere in between all the beauty Andrew finds the time to share a waltz with you, courtesy of “Dancing In The Dark”.

For those of you that found Kelly Andrew back in 2007 courtesy of his striking debut Olympus, you are going to be blown away with the strength in his latest material and production on Reflections. If you miss the heady days of Narada and Windham Hill whose productions would knock it out the proverbial musical ballpark, then Kelly Andrew is a must to complete your audio collection.

March 12, 2012
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Michael's Favorites: 2011
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