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Album Review: Walk In Beauty, Like the Night
Michael Whalen
Cover image of the album Walk In Beauty, Like the Night by Michael Whalen
Walk In Beauty, Like the Night
Michael Whalen
2023 / Spout/MWM
45 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
New music from Michael Whalen is always a very special treat, and his forthcoming Walk In Beauty, Like the Night is no exception. A two-time Emmy-winning composer/musician who has created music in almost any genre you can think of, Whalen's music has graced films, television, advertising and more, in addition to his many recordings. Michael currently has 43 albums to his credit that have been released over the past thirty-plus years. He calls Walk In Beauty, Like the Night "sort of a sequel" to his 2005 release, My Secret Heart on the Narada label. One of the most popular "new age" and "ambient" recordings of all time, My Secret Heart has been played hundreds of millions of times across every streaming platform in the world. Michael's quote describes this new album best: "In revisiting the musical vocabulary of My Secret Heart, I found there were more stories to tell because I have fallen in love and married the most amazing person in the last 15 years. I know love in another way. A deeper way." Subtitled "Romantic Meditations for Ambient Piano," the music is soothing and relaxing, but also invites much deeper listening to savor and fully appreciate the beauty of the music.

All of the piano parts on Walk In Beauty, Like the Night were performed on the Casio Privia PX-S7000 Digital Piano that stands in Michael's living room because he enjoys playing it so much. Other instrumentation was created on the seventeen keyboards in Michael's home recording studio. All ten tracks on the album were written, arranged, performed, produced and mixed by Michael Whalen, and the album was mastered by Tom Eaton at Sounds and Substance.

Michael talks about his career and how this album was created in an excellent video interview that I highly recommend. You can watch that here. There is also a wonderful, heartfelt video for the title track of the album here.

Walk In Beauty, Like the Night begins with the title track, a gently-flowing piece that wraps around the listener like a warm hug. Titled from a favorite poem by Lord Byron, the piece reflects on the quiet peacefulness of night as well as the stillness of a starlit sky - a wonderful opener that sets the mood for the music to come! "Anywhere, Anytime, Anything For You" expresses devotion and grace in a way that only music can - directly from one heart to another. "Eternity Floats In Your Eyes" is one of several favorites and I think it reflects Michael's vast experience in composing for films - musical magic that touches the heart as it uplifts the spirit. "Always For the First Time" picks up the tempo a bit with a quick underlying rhythm supporting a dreamy melody. The title for "Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me" seems just a little demanding and playful, but the piece itself is sooooooo smooth and romantic - another favorite! "Our House By the Sea" has a very open, uncomplicated approach that expresses the joy and contentment of being in the beauty of nature and knowing you are where you belong - a wonderful close to a great album!

Walk In Beauty, Like the Night is available on Amazon and Apple Music/iTunes as well as streaming sites such as Spotify. Very highly recommended!
June 30, 2023