6/04/2015

Instrumental New Age: Michael Stribling-A Better Place

Release Date: May 10, 2015
Label: Indie

A Better Place is Michael Stribling’s latest release. It is the first release since 2011. The goal of this music is to enhance the human condition. After listening to the album straight through, I would have to say that is achieved.

Stribling offers relaxing sounds that put you in a spiritual place. He uses keyboards to create his musical symphonies and in doing so brings forth a sound that is like a warm summer breeze touching your face or the gentleness of flower petals falling silently to the ground. This is the essence of his music. There are moments of transition that keep things interesting and energetic spurts that let you know he has the ability to step it up a few notches when he decides to and add a little excitement to the mix and make the softer approaches that much more poignant and meaningful.

As it says on the artist website, "The mission of Leela Music is to help others in their journey toward wholeness through the gift of music, by creating works that inspire and uplift the human spirit (Leela means 'divine play').” Certainly that is accomplished through the music. Being a diverse listener always helps to be more open to new sounds. There is not a day that passes that I cannot use a good dose of music that takes the edge off, and Michael reminded me of that while listening.

The amazing thing about how this man creates his music is that it’s just him, his keyboards, and various sampled sounds captured by a MIDI, then shaped and molded through Digital Performer and multiple plug-ins. It is electronic-based music, and it comes together quite nicely and sounds beautiful. It takes a good ear and plenty of talent to create music like this.

"Dust Yourself Off” is a favorite. I loved the keyboards and synth sounds; it is a marvelous and very effective combination. "Looking Up” into the skies day or night is a wondrous and spiritual thing; it has been for me my entire life. And this track is the most upbeat, driving, and dramatic take on the entire recording. It’s exciting, like something Vangelis would do for a movie score. The brightness and joy brought forth will bring a smile to you, inside and out.

"Time For Bed, Sweetheart” is a symphonic lullaby. It is pulls you right in like an inviting warm bed on a cold winter’s night. It is purposeful and determined, yet soft and sweet at the same time. I liked the texture and atmospheric nature of this track. It was like a bit of aural heaven for my senses.

As the album closes out, it is a reminder to all of us that life moves "Ever Onward”; as a gentle and happy invitation begins with keys and tinkling bells, you look back at everything you just heard and all the feelings the music was able to draw out of you. Music like this is not only relaxing, its intuitive nature allows contemplation and reflection of what is on the inside, not the superficial daily things. The question is what is really going on inside your head and what moves your soul. In spirit you can find the truth, and the final result is inner peace. I believe that is the goal of what Mr. Stribling strives to accomplish with his music. Thank you for making that a reality for me, sir; I look forward to your next outing of ear candy that translates to spiritual bliss.

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Dust Yourself Off; Looking Up; Time For Bed, Sweetheart

Tracks:
 

01. First Light
02. Looking Up
03. Winter Encounter
04. Dream Waves
05. Self Seeking Self
06. Just a Moment
07. Repose
08. A Better Place
09. Soliloquy
10. Reassurance
11. Quiet Certainty
12. Dust Yourself Off
13. Time for Bed, Sweetheart
14. Ever Onward

Keith "MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
June 4, 2015
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

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