Holland Phillips | Leaning Toward Home

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New Age: Contemporary Instrumental Electronic: Ambient Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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Leaning Toward Home

by Holland Phillips

Lush instrumentals and memorable melodies highlight Holland's seventh New Age/Contemporary Instrumental album.
Genre: New Age: Contemporary Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Prelude to a Dance
4:18 $0.99
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2. Before the Epilogue
4:16 $0.99
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3. Roadside Brew
4:18 $0.99
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4. Time Travels
3:20 $0.99
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5. A Sip of Potion
4:07 $0.99
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6. Moving Forward
4:20 $0.99
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7. Leaning Toward Home
5:15 $0.99
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8. Full Circle
3:30 $0.99
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9. Surprising Turns
4:13 $0.99
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10. Along the Way
4:01 $0.99
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11. Bedtime Stories
4:22 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Leaning Toward Home is a collection of thoughtful, beautiful songs designed to help the listener to daydream and discover memories they may have long forgotten. Holland's ability to craft hauntingly beautiful melodies is showcased on this album, along with a variety of moods from quiet and hopeful to uplifting and rhythmic. Already being called "comfort food for the brain", the eleven songs on the album are a comfortable respite from the stresses of daily life.

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Reviews


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Steve Sheppard

A pristine production and inspiring performances
Ask and I will give you an honest answer, yes I am a big fan of Holland Phillips, why? Well in my view he has consistently created quality album after quality album, his musicianship is superb and the feeling one gets from listening to a Holland Phillips album is one packed full of memories and good feelings of those times had, but the energy is always within the music, to help you move on as well.
Holland has done it again and manifested something so memorable and emotive with the release of his latest album Leaning Toward Home, so let’s take a journey now with the artist; we start with the piano lead offering Prelude to a Dance, the gentle string sections and piano create a wistful memory of a piece, one can imagine sitting on a hill, looking out on a nature filled vista, whilst pondering a thought so deep and all changing.
The more moody Before the Epilogue is up next, this manifests for us that continually moving thought of making a change, a musical statement of saying I am not finished yet. The gentle flute here is beautiful and the delicacy of the overall nature of the track is matched perfectly by the backdrop of empowering keyboards which give strength to the overall narrative of the piece.
One of my favourites is Roadside Brew, there was something almost progressive rock about this offering, the guitar at the start is stunning and memory packed; the mix of the organ into this well of genius added a whole new level. Phillips has done it again, he usually has at least one track on the album that makes the hairs on my arms stand to attention, the changing of the chords bring a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye and Roadside Brew is that very offering.
After the emotion falls away into the valley of calm, we are greeted with another sublime arrangement entitled Time Travels. I adored the beautiful flow here, the keyboards of the master musician seem to almost create wave after wave of movement within this clever composition, there is a real hint of original classical music here too, mixed brilliantly with that ever so lush ethic of the contemporary instrumental genre.
We now near the half way marker of the album and come across a piece called A Sip of Potion, this one caught my eye as soon as the album landed on my desktop. The build and progression of the composition is utterly amazing and literally carries the listener along with it with ease. This is another of those Phillip’s master pieces like Roadside Brew, that draw you in with its almost cinematic narrative, one that paints such a wonderful musical picture for us along the way and is of course another favourite of mine.
We now begin to descend into the latter half of the release and as we do so we come across a track called Moving Forward. The piano here is unceasing; its constantly moving onward mantra is glorious and when joined by the keyboards, manifests defiance, a purposeful energy of keeping on moving in that forward direction. The arrangement and its balance are delightful to listen to, and one can truly feel an essence of determination within this offering.
That all important moment is now upon us, it is that very moment when the artist unmasks the title track as we arrive in the musical dimension of Leaning Toward Home. The treat is that we are gifted to another moment of Holland Phillips magic as the artist brings us a really expressive and moving title header, and yet another moment of artistic brilliance to sample. The flute brings a mournful repose to the piece, while the keyboards almost re-create a light 1990’s melodic rock feel.
On Full Circle, the quietness of the start is like arriving at a safe harbour on some distant coastline, Phillip’s ability to perform with such artistic descriptive power is incredible, the composition of the piece, has both a sense of security and warmth about its narrative, as at some stage we all come full circle, and perhaps this arrangement is for us to listen to while we meander upon the lessons we need to learn from the voyage taken.
On Surprising Turns we are gifted an almost sun kissed offering, with an unusual moment of Holland giving us some spoken word audio, this narrative manifests something quite addictive and changes the whole perception of the track. Surprising Turns is one of those compositions you’re going to want to listen to over and again, to gain a full feeling of the arrangement in its entirety.
As we arrive at the doorway of the penultimate track off the album, we can reflect back on what has been an incredible journey of musical bliss, this next offering highlights that statement entirely, it’s called Along the Way. The smoothness of this piece is utterly charming and has that wonderful energy of remembrance and melody mixed sublimely together. This is the albums feel good piece and by the time you have arrived at its conclusion you will undoubtedly feel like I do, refreshed and re-energized and with a smile upon your face.
The very last gift from Holland Phillips to take with us as we wander home is called Bedtime Stories. This is Phillips at his soothing best, creating a composition that will ease the mind and soul and allow the restorative powers of sleep to drift over us, in what is simply the perfect way to end this quite amazing album.
Leaning Toward Home as an album is yet another step up the ladder of musical respect and prowess for the artist, in my opinion this is Phillips best collective work so far. Leaning Toward Home will leave you the listener with a beautiful and satisfied feeling of contentment at its conclusion, its pristine production and absolutely inspiring performances make this an album to really watch out for, and of course completely recommended.
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Candice Michelle

Harmoniously sentimental music intended to lift the spirits
Composer and keyboardist Holland Phillips has released a total of seven albums over the past several years with his latest output, Leaning Toward Home, continuing along the synthesizer-based contemporary instrumental style of his previous releases. Comprised of eleven easy-going and optimistic compositions upon which the sun never sets, the album’s arrangements mostly move along at a mid-tempo pace, as Phillips serves-up convivial keyboard melodies amid gentle programmed beats and quasi-orchestration. Two of the most enjoyable pieces to my ears are paired together – with “A Sip of Potion” being the first of these at the album’s halfway mark. Accentuating this sunny arrangement with glistening bell-like timbres, Phillips seemingly imbues it with the semblance of a vintage fantasy film. He likewise continues in this mode on my favorite piece, “Moving Forward”, wherein Phillips further delights us with a comparatively more reflective keyboard melody. Perhaps taking a few queues from the successful works of Mannheim Steamroller, Phillips’s music is overall characterized by a distinctly 80s-era vibe that hasn’t changed much since he debuted on the music scene with his first album. Lightly treading along a comfortable course, Phillips may not be breaking new ground as a composer, but he does create harmoniously sentimental music intended to lift the spirits – and that, he certainly succeeds at!
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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Leaning Toward Home" is the seventh album from composer/ pianist/ keyboardist/ multi-instrumentalist Holland Phillips and is a collection of eleven instrumental pieces that do not easily fit into any one specific genre (except “instrumental”!). The son of a music teacher and a fan of Big Band music, Phillips has been playing piano and guitar from a very young age and earned a degree in Music Composition. He has also done a lot of study in Music Therapy and the harmonics that interact with the brain in positive ways. There has a been a movement in recent years to record music at 432 hertz rather than the more conventional 440 hertz with the belief that 432 hertz is a more natural wavelength that the human body understands and reacts to more positively. (Peter Kater is one such artist and has had his piano tuned to 432 hertz.) Not all of the pieces on the album are tuned to 432 hertz, and Phillips says in the liner notes,”I only used it when the instruments and the harmonics of the song requested it.” Holland Phillips composed all of the music and plays all of the instruments (a combination of “real” and keyboard instrumentation).

"Leaning Toward Home" begins with “Prelude To a Dance,” a dreamy little piece for piano and (synth) strings. Graceful and bittersweet, it’s a very nice opening! “Before the Epilogue” is darker and more fully orchestrated (in addition to piano and guitar). “Roadside Brew” adds a gently-swaying rhythm to electric guitar and organ (and other instruments) and could easily be a romantic slow dance - a favorite. “Time Travels” has a nice easy groove and an intriguing air of quiet mystery. “A Sip of Potion” would be great behind the closing credits of a movie or in a soundtrack. For me, it evokes a variety of images and ideas of what inspired the music - also a favorite. I really like the energy of “Moving Forward,” a mostly digital piano piece with a catchy beat and a bell-like counter melody. The middle becomes more orchestrated, but the gentle rhythmic propulsion carries throughout the piece. The title track features flute in the lead in addition to piano, keyboard and a steady beat - another favorite. “Surprising Turns” is a little different in that it has some spoken word passages that tell a story about a journey on foot. I couldn’t really understand all of the words over the instrumentation, though. “Along the Way” is another beautiful slow dance-like piece that I interpret as a gentle reminder to slow down a bit and enjoy the smaller details of everyday life as much as accomplishing goals (a reminder I certainly need to heed sometimes!).

"Leaning Toward Home" is intended to help listeners relax and feel good and does quite a good job of it. Check it out!
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