Phil Lewis - Movements In Space
After becoming familiar with Phil Lewis on his latest album, I was lucky to get him to send me a copy of each of his past two albums. This, Movements In Space, is a couple of years old but another welcome addition to my collection. While it is somewhat different in it's sound to his latest offering, the core talents that Phil brings to his songwriting are plainly evident. The sound picture feels much more large and involved, in fact.
What Phil does best is melody; his hooks, both vocal and instrumental, are sticky-sweet and infectious while the DIY nature of the songwriting totally dodges the possibility of it all being overblown and potentially cheesy. There's a simple honesty to Phil's music that just captures you from the start and makes the album a perfect spin for a variety of different moods and tastes. After an atmospheric intro piece, "Let's Play" grabs you immediately with a delicious little riff. The lyrical approach is very down to earth and easily relatable from track to track, dealing with the highs, lows and middle grounds of life. Phil writes a mean, mean chorus, which highlight almost every track and make each song a fantastic experience in and of itself. "Sad" is a somber yet uplifting number with a bare-boned lyrical approach. "Just One Kiss" is a very simple love song, quiet in it's longing and calm in it's delivery wiith a nice, emotive guitar solo leaving it's mark. "Shine" has a bit of a alternative country vibe, a bit of twang in it's melody and a certain stride in it's rhythm. "Sadness So Beautiful" may be the most well-written track on the album, very well paced and slow to build into a wonderful climax. All that being said, you've got an album's worth of excellent songs already, with another 6 solid tracks yet to come. That's bang for your buck, no?
Phil Lewis does so much right on Movements In Space that, taken with his latest album, I am left to wonder just why his name isn't spoken more often. It may be that the simple, laid-back approach is something that dares the listener to step inside rather than forcing itself on the masses. It's the type of sound one can come across and, if they find it meeting their expectations, feel as if it was all made just for them. As far as truly independent music goes, Movements In Space is an exhibit in the nature of DIY, eschewing expectations and trends in favor of cementing your own style and nature into an artform you know and love.
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