Introducing his latest album with a slightly eerie atmosphere, sets the scene for what is to be another amazingly interesting journey with Holland Philips, as he once again entrances and intrigues with his voluptuous range of melodies, blends and combination of instruments.
Out of the Frying Pan is a great way to start as it gives notice that this is a listening experience to be enjoyed.
As the album moves over the 11 tracks there is a little something there for everyone, with at times the music reminiscent of Vangelis, Sky and other pioneers of what is today known as ambient groove. Phillips’ skills on the keyboard and at the piano are enhanced with the addition of sax and guitar, allowing the music to wander around the edges of jazz, a little electro-pop, and simply piano, before moving on to another vibe.
Many of the tracks have been enhanced by the richness of the orchestral backing, adding another layer to music which in many ways refuses to fit into any specific classification; perhaps this is the genius of the music and the man.
Possibly Maybe is simply that; possibly a little of that, or maybe a lot of this, placed in the melting pot to see what emerges – in this case a lovey, slightly up-tempo combination of synth and keys, full of confidence with a little dash of hesitancy, as it meanders along.
The title track Under a Second Moon features Paul Christensen on sax which adds a subtle, mellow influence to this composition, which was written to pay tribute to the special place only you can go to in your head, in your mind, a place where anything is possible, a place where music can and will take you.
Well, If It Come To this, Well, yes!:Some serious piano introduces this intriguing piece as it changes several times in the first few seconds of the composition, which more than any of the previous tracks has distinct overtones of Vangelis, with the varied harmonics creating an almost otherworldly emotion.
Wrapping the entire album is Fairytale Nights, something we can all relate to, as it immediately creates the imagery of light, delicate, evening tones, sky colours seen only once and the dainty, dancing, of the twinkling stars against the ever darkening palette of the night sky. Gentle and enjoyable this track makes a more than delightful finale to what Holland Phillips refers to as ‘part of a magical moment where we live dream and work’.