The following is a review of “Promise” from R J Lannan of Artisan Music Reviews. Click here to read the review on the Artisan Music Reviews website.
FLOW, the much celebrated quartet of New Age and contemporary music of late returns with their adroitly created second installment, Promise and it certainly lives up to its title. The award winning foursome, as if you didn’t know it already, consists of Australian pianist Fiona Joy (Hawkins), guitarist Lawrence Blatt, flugelhorn master Jeff Oster, and Grammy Award winning producer and guitarist, Will Ackerman. Each member has an initial in the band’s name. Hence, FLOW. Every member is a certified virtuoso of their instrument and have proven themselves time and again on solo and collaborative projects for Ackerman’s brainchild, Imaginary Road Studios.
A little ukulele, figurative speaking, guitar, and horn open stylistically on the title tune Promise. I have never thought as the ukulele as a lead instrument, but under Lawrence’s tender hand it becomes one. Four string do a theme make. The melodic covenant has equal contributions from everyone balanced well on a dynamic beginning.
Oster is master at his task and never fails to add an evocative, oftentimes opulent background to the songs on which he contributes. He soars on the tune, All These Years, adding a fluid grace to an uplifting melody. Just a whisper of voice on this one, and the guitars add polish to an otherwise sumptuous refrain.