One World Music Radio - Daydream Alley review
Steve Shepard, One World Music Radio
Here is an album that has it all, keyboards, synths and a stunning array of lead instrumentation from them all, it gives us one of those rare albums, dear readers, which is so addictive I have now played it three times back to back.
Holland Phillips has taken us back in his musical time machine to various eras along our journey, the opener employs a wistful violin to create the beginning foray, and it's called Etude in D Minor. One can find elements of early New Age and a little neo-classical here, but a fine start indeed.
Now I warn you, this release has two tracks upon it that I personally rate as some of the best music I have heard for many years, more on those later....
Read the rest of this review at www.oneworldmusic.co.uk:
"The moods and approaches are many, which makes the album all the more successful."
The Library Music Shelf - Daydream alley review
The fourth album by multi-instrumentalist Holland Phillips, Daydream Alley is a new age soundscape featuring piano, synthesizer, violin, bass, drums, oboe, bassoon, sax, electric piano, French horns, trombones, the flute and more. Sweeping musical fusion colors the listerner's imagination about past and future possibilities, connecting a sense of wonder with dreams of boundless optimism. Highly recommended.
Music Web Express - Circles of 8 review
Multi-instrumentalist and synth keyboard wiz Holland Phillips returned in 2016 with his latest epic Circles of 8. In the spirit of his earlier releases, Circles of 8 is filled with melodic and soaring instrumental music that combines symphonic sounds within the context of new age music. A good example of Holland's remarkable music can be heard on track four, "The Journey" with its circular keyboard patterns and memorable approaches. In addition to his keys and synths, Holland also adds in acoustic and electric guitars on several tracks here. Also on board is the sax work of Paul Christensen. all in all, Circles of 8 is a fine follow-up to Holland's acclaimed album Daydream Alley.
"Now skipping to the essence of the music, the question is, does it sound good and is it worth purchasing, or at least checking out? The answer, in its simplest form, is yes."
"Holland is a master at creating (or recreating, perhaps) music that will call back memories we think we've forgotten."
"Softly flowing tunes that are lyrical, melodius and enjoyable. This is a great album for Sunday brunch, relaxing by the poolside or decompressing after work."
"Another in a line of his winning sets, this is a great audio oasis."
Midwest Record Entertainment
Midwest Record Entertainment - Daydream Alley review
July 31, 2015
With his background in prog rock and classical, Phillips has the skills to add commercial chops to his blend of multi-instrumental new age, to blunt the bleats of those who don't cotton to new age music because they feel it doesn't go anywhere, like the pop songs they are used to. Not dumbing the genre down to reach farther into the masses, Phillips uses his skill to bring newbies into the tent and charm them with warm, fuzzy kind of familiar moves to disarm them and open their ears. Another in a line of winning sets, this is a great audio oasis.
"Holland Phillips has created something special here; he has taken past, present and future and molded them all into one."
Steve Shepard - One World Music
"I reaally like Daydream Alley. Batting 1,000 percent with this one."
KRCB 91 fm - California
"One listen to this new album and you will be amazed by not only his versatility of styles, but his expertise in molding synthesizer sounds into a lovely and melodic cohesion."
Zone Music Reporter review
Magle International Music Forums
Whether he is playing piano, synth sounding synthesizer, electronic piano, harpsichord or organ, Holland Phillips is a keyboardist to be reckoned with. On his Circles of 8 album, he also uses the synthesizer to create all kinds of other instrumentation whether it is oboe, trumpet or cello. he also plays a little guitar and brings in a real saxaphonist. A longtime professional musician, Phillips has worked with classical orchestras in college, and played in folk groups, Broadway bands, rock'n'roll groups of all shapes and sizes. Obviously this was a great training ground for the time when he started recording his own albums.
This is his fifth album and he is starting to make a name for himself in the new age music world. His last album went Top 10 on the international new age chart and he gets airplay on hundreds of radio stations around the world. His brand of instrumental music represents a classic new age sound because he balances acoustic instrumentation like piano, cello, trumpt, guitar, harspichord, sax strings and percusiion with the sound of a synthesizer sounding just like...a synthesizer. Apparently he collects synthesizers, o;d and new, so that he has a wealth of sounds to play around with. Sometimes a whole piece has a synth wash on it, while other times he has it gurgling and burbling under and around the piano; or he might just use synth sounds as a dib here and a dab there, little colorful highlights like Monet adding a few final brushstrokes to one of his lilypad canvases.
This recording is recommended for appreciative audiences of instrumental new age music who like thier music to have an emotional depth and resonances of life.
"If you enjoy New Age music, but are just a bit tired of solo piano, world-flavored ditties or ambient drone, give this one a listen for something full-bodied and enjoyable."
"Here is an album that has it all, keyboards, synths, and a stunning array of lead instruments from them all; it gives us one of those rare albums, dear readers, which is so addictive I have now played it three times back to back."
One World Music
Zone Music Reporter- Daydream Alley Review
If you enjoy hearing a versatile synthesizer player at work, take a listen to the album Daydream Alley by Holland Phillips. This keyboardist is known for his exquisite synthesizer playing and lovely melodies. he uses the synth to sound like a synthesizer at times, but also piano, violin, a string section, bass drums oboe and more. And his instrumental new age sound touches on other genres such as neo-classical, contemporary jazz and light progressive rock.
Even though Phillips creates all of the music on the new album using a wide array of keyboards and synthesizers, he realistically captures the sounds of many different band and orchestral instruments. One way he does this is by learning to play the real instruments first so he knows the range, limitations and capabilities of each one.t his expertise in molding synthesized sounds into a lovely and
ic cohesion. Rating: excellent
Holland is a master at creating (or, recreating, perhaps) music that will call back memories we think we've forgotten... this is immediately apparent on tunes like the beautiful "Touched By Fire". His organ lead is superb on this one, and you'll listen to it over and over again.
If your dreams (Day or night) need a little perking up, try out the soulful "Last Nite Out"...very nice changes on this one. No, it isn't strictly jazz, but its got the life energy that's required to get a good review here. My personal favorite of the dozen tracks offered up for your aural enjoyment is the opener, "Etude in D Minor"...the synth/strings on this piece are sad, yet inspiring, and will stay in your mind for years to come.
I give Holland a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an "EQ" (energy quotient) rating of 4.97 Get more information at his Music By Holland site.
Soundmind Magazine- Flight of the Windmill review
You ever get the feeling that when you put an album on for the first time, that once the music has started, you're in for a treat? Right from the opening note, this one grabs the heart, mind and soul The title track comes first, a piece reminiscent of some wonderful work of Chris Spheeris. Atmospheric and melodic, it sets the scene admirably for the next ten tracks. We should mention that the basis for this album is piano and synth, with sax in there for good measure and in the right dose.
The moods and approaches are many, which makes the album all the more successful. For the most part there is calm, as on the delightful Land's End. And on the impossibly dark Suspense, there is a whole album waiting to explode forth - a moodier and commanding style which bodes well for future releases. The whole thing closes with another anthem, Nightsky.
This is in summary a very listenable album, great playing, great variation, and some melodies along the way that will leave you begging for more. Fortunately, it doesn't really fit into any category other than good.