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Craig McCourt - Ontario, Canada
"Without Words" is one of those wonderful instrumental cd's you can play almost any time of day(or night if you prefer). The music is soothing and energetic - all mixed into one cd. I have heard many guitarists in my time, and I am very picky about guitarists who just come out and have no real talent, and the music is dull and boring. I have grown to love guitarists like Mike Oldfield, Steve Hillage, Joe Satriani, just to name a few.
When I went on Phil Lewis' web page and listened to some of the samples I was impressed at the sound quality and the great guitar sounds that I heard. But listening to samples doesn't mean you have a good sense of the cd - I would call it a teaser. As soon as I heard the samples I was immediatley drawn to want to hear the full songs, and be able to crank up the volume.
When I recieved the cd in the mail, I immediatley put it into my cd changer and sat back and listened, as I do any other artist I have ever listened to. At first listen I felt I was listening to a guitarist that has been recording songs for years and not actually listening to a first cd from this guitarist named Phil Lewis, with whom I have never heard of before. But it is a name that I mention now all the time.
From the first song, Sea Safari, it is a blend of beautiful guitar works and wonderful backing music as well. Splendid sounds which captivated me right away. And that is good for any new cd, you have to captivate your listener right in the first track and "Sea Safari" did just that to me.
The second track, "Catch-22", is one of the great heavier sounding songs, which if you love Joe Satriani, you would love this song. The song is full of life and energy.
Other songs that I really loved on the cd was the short but sweet "Fairy Tale" and my personal favourite "Lost Gold". Other favourites include the title song "Without Words" and the very beautiful "Barrow Downs".
With a 16 track cd, you definetley get your money's worth of great music writing, and fantastic guitar playing. Not only does Phil Lewis play all the guitars, but he also plays the bass and does the drum tracks as well. He isn't just a great new guitarist, but a great multi-instrumentalist.
One thing which I found I loved about listening to "Without Words" was that there wasn't just a lot of speed guitar playing all the time in the songs. Some guitarists want to show how good they are by showing how fast they can play. A great guitarist is not measured by how fast they can play, but HOW they can play the guitar, and how to make the guitar sing. Listening to Phil Lewis play the guitar clearly shows that he is one of the great new guitarists of our age. He isn't about being flashy, he plays with class, and his songs are well written and well played. There is not one song on this cd that is dull or boring.
I enjoyed listening to the cd - I listen to it every day and tell everyone I know about it. I look forward to hearing more from Phil Lewis.
Michele Keown, St.Petersburg, Florida
Hi, I just finished listening to the cd. It's absolutely
awesome! So different and unique. I can't pick a favorite. I
am drawn to the heavier selections though. Can't help it,
I'm a headbanger at heart. I wish I could hear you live. You
4Spikes, Birmingham, UK
Incredible! Nice tunes all with there own theme. My two favourites are probably "Canon", which was a brilliant take on the classical music and "Race 'N' Chase" . Calm tunes, fast tunes, loud tunes - its all there! Well worth getting if your into rock like me or you just like good music. Awesome album. Enjoy.
Without Words, the first album of Phil Lewis, is a very connected collection of instrumental rock'n'roll. Built as it was à.la.mode at the time where vinyls were a huge success, this album points out incontestably some leaders of the Seventies and Eighties. Before reading the influences on the site of Mr. Lewis, it was fairly easy to name some of them: Joe Satriani, for the hardness of sound which we can find in some parts of the album, and others like Little Drama, Steve Vai, for the emotion and the stamp of the guitar, and David Gilmour, because of the intensity. An other name would be added easily to this list, even if it is not an influence of the artist, which would be Eric Johnson and his Cliffs of Dover. The sound and the casting of the notes are similar for the two guitarists without being too resembling.
In a whole, the album touches several types of music: rock'n'roll, of course, progressive and hard, blues and even classic. That is the fruit of the versatility of the guitarist, who also composed all the other instruments. Thus, the result is very satisfying: we have the right to certain songs that have an awesome rythym, directed by an involving guitar, and to others, more serious, which reach a certain level of intensity. The use of the pedal for purposes in the principal riff of the part Catch 22 is very stimulant. While E Blues, which is inevitably blues, is partly acoustic and hangs on as of the first listening. The very soft song, Canon, points out Mozart while being very current and causes an effect of beauty which succeeds it very well. The last part, So Little, So Much concludes the album carefully, whereas the titled song gives a more different aspect of Lewis. Indeed, the guitar which composes it reminds me a bit John Petrucci, in some solos of Liquid Tension Experiment more specifically. The album is quite simply a musical success, but remains to see whether the public always appreciates this music which entirely had its place in the musical trading of the Seventies.
Two thumbs up for this excellent album, which shows well that we are far from having discovered all the instrumental rock'n'roll out there and that it is not obsolete to present such compositions.