Artisan Music Reviews’ Review of “Promise”

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.

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New Age Music Guide’s Review of “Promise”

The following is a review of “Promise” from BT Fasmer of New Age Music Guide. Click here to read the review on the New Age Music Guide website.

What is a promise? Listening to New Age music supergroup FLOW’s new album got me thinking about how promises, big or small, are guiding stars. They follow us wherever we go, and our wellbeing is directly linked to how people around us live up to their promises – and how we keep promises to ourselves. I’m happy to report that we can have trust in FLOW too. “Promise” continues where their 2017 album left off, proving that the band was meant to be. It is a rock-solid second release, taking the group’s sound to new heights.

FLOW consists of Australian pianist Fiona Joy, acoustic guitarist Lawrence Blatt, flugelhorn player Jeff Oster, and Grammy Award-winning guitarist Will Ackerman. The album was produced by Tom Eaton and Will Ackerman at Imaginary Road Studios with guest artists
Jeff Haynes (Percussion) and the already mentioned Tom Eaton on guitar, bass, and keyboards.

The title track opens the album. “Promise” starts gently with guitars, piano, flugelhorn, and light percussion. True to their name, FLOW uses little time to find that groove that made their debut album highly memorable. I like how the song makes each group member shine. Notice how every instrument is center stage at some point. It is a fabulous piece and a promise of what’s to come.

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