Reviews by newage.com
May 13, 2010
"Solace" is the debut album from composer, producer and pianist Doug Hammer. Sixteen delicate compositions make up this album, which creates a calm and relaxing atmosphere, perfect for achieving the inspiration for reading, studying, walking .... Ideal for any time of day when peace is sought. An album recorded in his own studio, Dreamworld Productions & Design, in Boston, it has been the perfect culmination of a lifetime after harvesting a valuable musical experience as producer, arranger, creator of TV and radio jingles, etc.. Doug has been able to make good use of all that baggage and has given life to an album with a great quality in the compositions and with an amazing production.
The album opens with "Unfolding", a delicate piece with a strong feeling in its zenith, a beautiful melody that brings to life a lively right hand with accompaniment of subtle chords by the left hand in the lower of the piano. A hopeful piece, tender and sensitive.
"Sunrise" is amazing, a catchy tune that is already displayed from the beginning announcing that it will be one of the most beautiful tracks of this work. A powerful tune that leaves the listener breathless and expectant from beginning to end. Marked strong chords played by the left hand, accompanying the main melody, amazing. Awesome!
"In The Fields" is a lively and exciting piece that begins with a gentle melody that rises to the top of the piano and is accompanied by delicate chords of the left hand. A half minute in begins continuous chord progressions that accompany the smiling, and sometimes energetic, melody, adding an optimistic touch to the piece. Beautiful!
A subtle touch of high notes presented to "The Dance", one of the topics in greater pace of this work. The quick touch of high notes, accompanied by furtive blows in the lower chords of the piano, introduces a fresh and intense melody, bringing joy to the listener. Pure freshness!
One of the most serene pieces is entitled, "Flying High"; a feeling of well-being pervades the listener. A slow start, with marked chords in the upper of the piano, which then go to play in the lower area, serve as an introduction to a simple melody that gives life to his right hand on the higher notes. With a slow flowing and sweet set of chords, the piece comes to an end, leaving the listener in a drowsy state.
In "Gabrielle" a simple, catchy melody is repeated throughout the track, that travels from the upper part of the piano to the lower area, interspersed with beautiful variations that, taken together, give life to a loving and sweet piece. Pure tenderness!
"Coming Home" is mesmerizing in its beginning, delicate strokes of chords and a melody that comes from quiet high notes create an atmosphere of complete calm. The melody remains unchanged until after two and a half minutes, which becomes more energetic and exciting, the moment required to reach home!
"A Warm Place In Winter" has a simple composition and warm covers to the listener on a cold winter. Accompanying the low chords and graceful continuous touched high notes played by the right hand, provide a friendly sense to the piece, drawing a smile to the listener.
The romantic feel of the album, is "Emmanuelle", where the cheerful flow of the notes and the gentle tap of the chords add a strong emotion and great sensitivity to the subject. It is easy to see what has drawn inspiration to Doug. A piece that is born in the depths of the soul and surrender to his wife. Amazing piece, endowed with a great feeling!
"A Dream I Once Lived In" is another piece that has a powerful melody. Sometimes smiling, sometimes painful, a loud and energetic lament in the air. A beautiful and soft start that gives life to his right hand and strum chords in the left hand; both are creating a melody that over time becomes stronger. Simply exciting!
A dialogue between the voice and thoughts invites us to "Soliloquy", a song with a slow flow, where the silences hold the same importance as the melody. A simple but beautiful track, with thoughtful tone and perfect for moments of reflection.
"Bittersweet" is a tender passage, where the notes seem to be improvised. A fascinating piece in its zenith with strong chords, and where a choppy melody born in the high area of piano and barely noticeable, the left hand progressions give it a nostalgic touch to the piece.
"Sorrow" is the most brought down part of this work. With great feeling, Doug gives life to a sad and deep melody. The melody flows slow and painful, although in certain cases, it becomes more cheerful. In both feelings, they create a beautiful, intimate melody.
A simple tap on the high notes of the piano gives way to "All These Moments Will Be Gone", an exciting play, improvised from the soul. With unhurried pace and delicate melody, it creates the perfect setting for moments of meditation and relaxation. The simple touch of notes is extended until the end, accompanied by soft, slow chord progressions. A time to rest!
"The Way Things Must Be" is a melancholic piece from start to finish that maintains a state of calm. A sample of the author's agreement to the fact "how things should be." The melody created by the right hand is broken and slow, giving it that little bit of sadness on the track.
The largest piece of the album, more than six and a half minutes, is titled, "The Road Home." The piece that closes the album has a disconcerting start with a repetitive stroke delicate high notes; this introduction gives way to a sense of relief and melody that draws a smile to the listener. Following the path that goes directly to home is a unique feeling after a long trip!
Doug has given life to an album of great quality, both in terms of composition and production. "Solace" is a highly recommended work to be enjoyed in moments of relaxation, to accompany a reading or just interesting to contemplate in a beautiful setting, a stroll through the countryside, enjoying the sights and listening to this album, creating a perfect set to achieve a desired well-being, forget everything and simply enjoy. "Solace" is a highly recommended album!