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CD REVIEW:  Phil Lewis - Age of Nothing (EP)

by: Cyrus Rhodes

 

 

 

 

 

Artist: Phil Lewis
Album: Age of Nothing (EP)
Label: Independent Artist
Website: http://www.phillewisuk.co.uk/

Genre: Sonic Pop/Rock, Singer/Songwriter, Dance-Pop
Sounds Like: U2, Coldplay, Radiohead, Maroon 5, Manic Street Preachers, Death Cab for Cutie

Technical Grade: 7/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 8/10
Best Songs: Imprisoned
Weakness: More vocal risk-taking and emotion, EP release

CD REVIEW:

 

British born synth-pop artist Phil Lewis just released his latest 5 song EP entitled “Age of Nothing in 2013. Lweis appears to be surging after three albums, a record signing (LPW records for Movements in Space), and a semi-finalist place in the UK Songwriting Competition contest, I feel I've finally found my sweet spot as an independent artist. A big part of that is my partnership with Ben Haynes, who produced the record and plays all the instruments. We go back years and he's worked on previous albums, but this time it's been far more of a collaboration. The lead track from the EP is Imprisoned. A video for this track is available on YouTube

 

The EP kicks things off with passionate "Imprisoned” a melodic pop driven intro groove that’s serves up well placed rhythm section, infectious musical groove meshed with emotionally charged vocals from Lewis. Track 2 “Ready” serves up a smooth moving pop piece with infectious bass driven groove, melodic musical flow coupled with hooky harmonies and impressive vocal accents from Lewis. Track 3 “Age of Nothing” keep things moving in the right direction with its impressive guitar ambience, methodical musical intro eventually lending itself into an amazing musical piece meshed with impressive heartfelt melody that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. As the CD unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of U2, Coldplay, Radiohead, Maroon 5, Manic Street Preachers, and Death Cab for Cutie. I can even hear a dash of Depece Mode. Right from the start you will notice Lewis feels quite comfortable just letting it all hang out musically, not holding anything back. Besides the 4 piece standard the overall musical vibe has a nice, melodic poppy, hooky feel to it. The musicianship has everything you would expect from a world class release. The musicianship, sampling and sonic touches are rock solid across the board as Lewis dishes out impressive  playing, impressive sonic piano, well placed organ, keyboards, string accents meshed with well placed vocal harmonies all built upon a thick as a brick rhythm section. Lewis has got the look and solid vocal timber and is full of passion and recklessness abandon. He's got all the vocal skill sets required for this genera and demonstrates an impressive vibrato, power and warm timbre. The songs themselves are consistent musical experiences, each one possessing unique personality, flair and signature groove. Lewis is a strong songwriter and a very capablle producer. The production quality is rock solid with crystal clear high end clarity and solid low end punch. From striking “Fly Again” to “Calling Me” the perfect finale statement for an EP of this caliber. Again” this EP has something for just about everyone.

 

On a few tracks I wish Lewis displayed more vocal power and raw emotion especially during some of the finale moments of his music. I wish ther were a few more solo segments. I also typically deduct 1 star for EP releases. The full length releases is the most compelte snapshot to judge an artists by at any given time.  

 

In close Age of Nothing (EP) by Phil Lewis is an impressive 5 song EP release. If he has a slam dunk live presentation then that would be a deadly combination no doubt. My hats off to Lewis for bringing this latest release together. The songs are extremely consistent, melodic, passionate, funky and highly entertaining – and clearly prove Phil Lewis is a force to be reckoned with in the UK and beyond.  des

 Cyrus Rhodes