Reviews of "Movements in Space"
Review from Never For Nothing CCM Newsletter (February 2010 edition)
This CD starts with a short 20 second track called "Intro" which is a synth track that Pink Floyd would be proud of, then we are into the album proper, which is
made up of fairly straightforward pop songs, I say pop rather than rock, but it's not at all like the bland drivel served up on the radio by Cowell and his ilk. The
songs on here all feature catchy guitar licks and nice keyboards. Phil's voice is quite an individual one, The only person I can think of to compare it to is Lloyd
Cole. There's a
certain amount of dry humour in the lyrics too, both the music and the lyrics reminded me of "James".
There's not really a bad track on this album, and it will be available to download from Feb 1st from all the usual places. There's a list of these, plus some tracks
from the CD that you can hear at www.phillewisuk.co.uk. The only thing that lets this down, and I know it's only a minor point, but the track listing is in black
lettering on a dark grey background, and it's just about impossible to read through a shiny CD jewel case. 9/10
Review from Music Review Unsigned Website (http://musicreviewunsigned.com/p.html)
A singer songwriter that has the ability to be bigger than he has ever dreamed of. On first listen to the album I was like yes this guys has it all. You can argue that this album is pop and rock just like the Run
DMC and Aerosmith link up. Lewis has a voice that cant be compared to anybody else which is always a good thing. This man is a melody genius and really knows how to write happy songs. The
drumbeats and guitar riffs are bang on time and suit the songs down to a tee. His songs will lift you up and this is a really feel good album. 4/6
Review from Don Ignacio Music Reviews (http://donignacio.com/music/2010page.html#1)
Man, the first few times I listened to this Phil Lewis album, I was utterly keyed up by it. These songs are bright and happy, and he sure knows how to write a melody. What is there not to like about that?
Well, that strong first impression began to subside upon further listens when I began to notice that some of the melodies started to seem awfully cheesy. Also, it began to bug me how flat and uninteresting
the orchestration of most of these songs are, in particular the rhythm sections. Usually the bass does nothing more throughout the album than mechanically play the same note over and over again, and the
drum machine textures are similarly unimaginative. But as I said, this is a happy album with friendly melodies, and you'll probably like it if you want something unpretentious to put you into a good mood.
It opens up with a sunny, quasi-anthemic toe-tapper called “Let's Play” with its bright guitar riff and vocal melody sweetly sung by Lewis (I presume). His vocals are hardly unique, but he can hit all his notes
easily, and its tone is just as friendly as his pop melodies are. The next song, “Sad,” doesn't seem to live up to its title, because it sounds just as warm and happy if not moreso. He might have brought in a
few cheesy sounding hooks in the chorus, but it soars so well that I don't really care about that. What I said about poor instrumentation doesn't necessarily apply there, since he occasionally brings up some
nicely placed “Kashmir” style epic strings.
“Shine” is such a solid song that I'd wager that it could have been a hit in the mid-'90s on an adult contemporary station. (I can't tell you why, but there's something that screams mid-'90s when I listen to that
song.) It contains the album's only example of a solid rhythm section, featuring an involving bass-line that interacts well with this light programmed drum beats. The chorus is also excellent that not only
contains strong hooks, but it seems to soar as he's singing it, like classic Duran Duran. (OK, it's not as infectious as the chorus of “Rio,” but it's in the same ballpark.)
After the fifth track, the album unfortunately seems to take a small dive, and I don't enjoy it quite as much. The melodies start to seem a little less compelling, and he even abandons his warm and optimistic
tones in some of them. (Not that I don't like cold, sad or bittersweet songs, but Lewis seems to thrive best when he's just being happy-go-lucky.) “Sadness So Beautiful” is Lewis' attempt at a low-key
ballad, and perhaps it's a little too low-key. It just doesn't catch fire. I like that he brings in a little buzzy glam guitar for “Burn Burn Burn,” which is toe tapping for sure, but somehow it doesn't quite pick up the
storm by the end like I'd think it should. “New Star” is probably the most boring moment of the album, although it starts out well giving me a warm, holiday felling with some sweet piano, crunchy strings, and
twinkly acoustic guitar... But that mood just seems to be lost once an ordinary and blandly instrumented chorus pops up.
A song like the closer “One Step At a Time,” probably has the least conventional instrumentation of the bunch with a complicated drum machine pattern and a somewhat interesting vocal melody. But the
drum machine seems utterly disconnected to the vocals, and thus it doesn't have quite the drive that it needed to capture my attention and imagination.
According to his website Phil Lewis had been around in the music biz for around 15 years, and sampling some of his other albums, the man does show that he has a consistent gift for pop melodies, and
Movements in Space is no exception to that. I might wish that parts of the instrumentation were better polished or more creative, which is what the left side of my brain is telling me what to say. But I can't
deny that I listen to this album without having a big ole smile implanted on my face, so I am mildly recommending this. Don't expect anything revolutionary, but do expect to have a nice time with it. 11/15
Review from Tasty Fanzine.org.uk (http://www.tastyfanzine.org.uk/albums94jan10.htm#PhilLewis)
Again, an album cover can prove deceptive. Expecting a singer-songwriter, and I suppose Phil Lewis must've started out as a solo performer, 'Movement In Space' is in fact a proper full band album, with
picture of a slightly nervous looking Phil holding up an acoustic guitar on the reverse sleeve, which does sort of give a misleading impression as to what is actually on the CD. Even more surprising is the
actual music. Opener 'Let's Play' is a full-blown stadium rock anthem, eerily 80s in its structure to the point where it actually recalls a Then Jericho b-side, or Roxette without the female vocal. Hardly
groundbreaking stuff but it certainly powers along. So, can determinedly recreating a world before rave and ignoring present day trends while doing it really result in a worthwhile listening experience? Well,
those electronics do sound quite genuinely dated, and the initial kick of the retro-ish production styling does begin to lapse into something a bit workmanlike and less than fully inspired.
I can't quite put a handle onto what Phil Lewis wants to achieve here. His own songwriting is only too often swamped by the large-scale overproduction on songs like 'Shine' and 'It Never Stops' and the
overall effect is eventually one of thuddingly two dimensional monotony. What's really needed here is either a more committed rockout or a lot less clutter on the mixing board. You can do it, Phil, just play
your own guitar more often.
Reviews of "Dumb & Stupid" b/w "It Never Stops"
Review from Subba-Cultcha.com (http://www.subba-cultcha.com/singles.php)
Studio-spliced pop with imagination shining through every pore...
Review from Never For Nothing CCM Newsletter (July 2009 edition)
Phil has been writing and recording songs for more than ten years. His last album, the warmly received ‘Ancient Light’ was recorded during 2006 with the
Incredible String Band keyboard player, Lawson Dando. This single sees Phil concentrate on a guitar driven sound. The song itself is pretty self explanatory,
and contains a “who, oh, oh” chorus that is quite catchy.
The second song follows in similar musical style, only this time it looks breaking free from the everyday hum-drum life of the material world. Phil’s vocals are
quite engaging, and after a couple of plays. Both tracks are difficult to leave alone! 8/10
Review from The Mag website (http://www.the-mag.me.uk/Music/Articles/Item/Phil-Lewis-Dumb-and-Stupid/)
Having just signed to LPW Records this year, Phil Lewis is back with his new single.
'Dumb and Stupid' is one of those songs that grows on you. The over-all pop offering has hidden moments of soft rock and quirky rewind noises which add to the depth of the song. This is a brilliant track
and the catchy "do do do do do doo" bit gets you "dooing" along, long after the record has ended.
B-side 'It Never Stops' isn't as good as 'Dumb and Stupid', but it still gains brownie points on the guitar build up at the end. Yet again this track has a mature sound and feel and you can see Phil developing
before your eyes.
I wasn't such a huge fan of Phil Lewis in the [beginning], but like all cheese you have to let it ripen with age!
Reviews of "Sad" b/w "Shine"
Review from Wavcloud website (http://wavcloud.com/index.php?c=phil_lewis_-_sad_single)
Despite the title this track is ironically quite upbeat! This singer songwriter will not make you "Sad" with his great composition ability! Aided by Phil's pleasant,
distinctive voice, incredibly catchy melodies and overall radio friendly sound!
Shine (B-side to single) - This song follows nicely after the single, "Sad", as its coherent and inkeeping with his sound but manages to sound different..This
song does infact "Shine", through the great, beautiful vocals and melodies as well as the atmospheric, ambient guitars and effects, that help give Phil his
signature alt rock edge.
Review from Subba-Cultcha (http://www.subba-cultcha.com/singles.php?id=27)
Imagine the current crop of singer songwriters with the perspective of progressive rock, and you’re half way to describing the futuristic tones of Phil Lewis’
Review from Cross Rhythms website (http://www.crossrhythms.co.uk/products/Phil_Lewis/SAD/77183/)
Search the Cross Rhythms site and you'll find plenty of positive reviews for Phil Lewis. And this reviewer agrees with his colleagues. Lewis knows just how to put together a hooky pop song with interesting
chord changes, atmospheric keyboards and rocking guitar solos that owe a little bit to The Edge circa "New Year's Day" and other early/mid-'80s classics. Does that make it dated? You could say so, but
good songwriting and performance are surely never out of vogue. Old styles are always present as influences in current music, and Lewis makes a virtue of that. Here he uses "SAD" (Seasonal Affective
Disorder) and winter as metaphors for the Pauline teaching that we may have hope, even in dark times. B-side "Shine" is less immediate - my first reaction was that I was waiting for more of a big chorus
once the title line was delivered, but none came. However, it is a grower. It's too late to help Lewis in his push for chart success with this release, because it came out in early February and I'm writing this a
month later. However, it's never too late to support a classy artist. If you want to dip your toes into Phil Lewis' music, then this release is a safe bet in uncertain times.
Review from Toxic Pete's website (www.toxicpete.co.uk)
Well, Phil Lewis shows once again that he's got a bit of a golden touch when it comes to writing songs aimed at the pop marketplace! 'Sad' finds Lewis positively overflowin' with pop sensibility and
likeability whilst allowing his compositional individualism and instrumental originality to shine through. Originally recorded on the excellent 'Movements In Space' album but lovingly and expertly re-visited
and re-modelled into this, slightly softer edged, possibly more instantly appealing, single, 'Sad' shows Lewis in all his poetic and compositional glory!
Lewis's slightly nasal vocal intonation is delivered in typically relaxed and understated yet confident style as fx laden guitars and darkly dynamic 'strings and things' provide a blisteringly infectious
backdrop. Lewis uses the 'big' sound of strings juxtaposed with soaring guitars as a kinda magnet that draws the listener in to the centre of his carefully conceived musical world. 'Sad' and its 'b' side'
'Shine' allow Lewis to show off his wonderfully 'timeless' pop music with alarming disrespect for commercial normality; Lewis doesn't really conform in the true sense, his music is as commercial as hell but
sounds like anything else doing the rounds. Lewis has a knack of sounding amazingly viable and 'now' whilst retaining individualism and a real spirit of musical adventure - his remarkably mature songs, as
once again showed here, blur genre boundaries yet sound familiarly friendly and are easy to access being somehow gentle on the senses but infuriatingly catchy.
'Sad' by Phil Lewis has every chance of getting itself noticed - radio 'jocks' should feel wholly confident about airing Phil Lewis and maybe its radio friendliness and likeability will raise the Lewis profile and
open up new doors for this impressive singer/songwriter. And why not? Phil Lewis is not only a prolific writer, he's also a totally focussed performer and recording artist that deserves a larger canvas onto
which he can 'paint' his beautifully melodic poptastic wares. 'Sad' is probably the most commercial song I've, thus far, heard from Phil Lewis; it's got all the right components - hooks, singalongability,
energy, heart and soul and should definitely pull in a good few punters and spread the word. Phil Lewis' 'Sad' works on in all aspects; it's commercial enough to quickly win hearts yet it's also sufficiently
original to slowly win minds! Good work this - beautifully polished, sensibly embellished and professionally executed!
Review from Music Review website (http://www.musicreviewunsigned.com/34.html)
Phil is an emerging christian singer songwriter from Cardiff/UK releasing his EP "Sad" in February 2009, the EP has very promising sounds i can say, both tracks on the EP are very upbeat and
mainstream pop/rock.. both have catchy lyrics and some sweet guitar solo's too, I'm getting a very early 80's rock feel or early U2 guitar work in the sound, but Phil's vocals are very relaxed in parts of the
EP" this is not a bad thing as it does suit the style that Phil is trying to express, I'm looking forward to see what 2009 brings for this artist. Rank: 4 out of 6
Review from The Mag website (http://www.the-mag.me.uk/Music/Articles/Item/Phil-Lewis-Sad/)
Chilled out music that will banish away any stress and anger. It's bound to leave you feeling relaxed and ready to unwind for the day.
Phil Lewis shows great potential, having written and performed both tracks. With manufactured artists on the rise, his talents are likely to score him many points in the music industry.
His self-written lyrics are cleverly used to perk anyone up. Shown through first track 'Sad' Phil Lewis repeats the line "Got a good idea, it's a terrible day. Why don't we just go out and play". Well if it's that
good a line, you might as well hear it a few times.
Continuing with second track, 'Shine', we are presented with lyrics that will come just at the right time if you're having a bad day. Showing off his vocals to calm and steady musical beats, this is the perfect
song to listen to as your worries slip away.
If you find you love Phil Lewis' music you're likely to be pleased that he stays true to his sound all the way through both these tracks. However, the same can be said that if this artist doesn't appeal to you,
you are unlikely to be persuaded through giving his other tracks a chance.
Phil Lewis presents songs that are bound to be a hit with anyone looking to put their feet up and chill out after a day of rushing around. 3.5 out of 5
Reviews of "Just One Kiss" b/w "Let's Play"
Review from Wavcloud website (http://wavcloud.com/index.php?c=phil_lewis)
"Just one kiss" is beautiful, catchy and clear; Filled with alot of emotion through the great unique tones of his voice. "Let's play" is an extremely catchy rock
track, and like "Just one kiss" is simply unforgettable! Both songs display his exceptional talent and creativity. Phil Lewis is destined for success! I highly
recommend that you listen to him!
Review from Subba-Cultcha.com (http://www.subba-cultcha.com/singles/)
"Bold singer songwriter armed with an acoustic guitar and some heart breaking"
Review from The Mag website (http://www.the-mag.me.uk/Articles/Phil-Lewis-Just-One-Kiss/)
"He's back and asking for more and, much to Phil Lewis's delight, his new single 'Just One Kiss' has landed in my hands!
After re reading my previous review of Phil's album 'Movements In Space' all the exact points that were pointed out are re-appearing in this song but no
where near as offensive as before. Yes, it's The Feeling but this track has got a charm of it's own. The added moodiness to this track works extremely well
against Phil's darker vocal and with The Feeling steering away from song's like this, it seems original enough to the ear.
Moving on to 'Let's Play', the adding of keyboards and energy pumps some guts into the melody. As before in my previous review of Phil, the same problem
occurs where his vocal just doesn't suit up beat, fast paced songs as it just remains anonymous.
Phil's got it right when it comes to performing relaxed songs where his vocal goes from being flat hearted into adding a depth of power that turns it into the
leading the song. Phil please stick to songs like 'Just One Kiss' because if you continue to do so, you hit the spot every time." 7/10
Reviews of "Ancient Light"
Review from Never For Nothing CCM Newsletter (February 2007 edition)
Phil has received some very positive reviews from his previous offerings, and I feel certain that this, his second full length
album, will follow suit. Phil weaves a complex tapestry with his songs and arrangements and this isn't the sort of cd that will
grab you on first listen, but the resultant effect is an album that will continue to be on your must listen list long after many
others have been resigned to the cd rack. This is largely due to Phil's sound being quite unlike anything else available on
the market, but also due to some great songs. My favourite, "No Accident" expresses an oft used theme in a different way.
The uptempo number "Beautiful" demonstrates some of Phil's sixties influences whilst "Run to Win" is unmistakeably REM
in their "Out of Time" days. On the negative side, a couple of solos didn't sit quite as well in the mix as they could have,
particularly the guitar solo on the first track, "Is Anybody Home", which isn't quite in tune in one very noticeable place. As
this is the first track, it might have paid Phil to sit it further back in the mix and move the track to a later point in the album.
For everything else the musicianship is excellent with tight arrangements and exquisite harmonies. This could be an early
contender for best independent release of 2007. . 8/10
Review from Subba-Clutcha webzine (review - http://www.subba-cultcha.com/article.php?id=4241)
Shout Hallelujah, come on get happy…
As a person who never reads a press release unless absolutely necessary, the continuous optimism of Phil Lewis' 'Ancient Light' came as a bit of a shock upon first hearing. Having been bombarded with
a flurry of fashionable cynical social commentary in recent musical times, the Welsh singer-songwriter's words of encouragement (much like an over-enthusiastic dad at his kid's first football match) stick out
like a sore thumb in the current climate. Upon second listen, and having taken a look at the all essential MySpace page, all becomes clear. This is a happy album because it's a Christian album, and
religious beliefs not withstanding, the sentiments contained within it are a tonic for those assaulted by the harsh reality of Arctic Monkey style pop.
Collectively the songs sound like they could well have originated in the clappy, happy shoegaze days of yore, but individually Lewis has embellished the tracks with plenty of interesting, if sometimes
confusing production and plenty of instrumental detail to keep those feet tapping. 'Don't Give Up, Don't Give In' is a highlight, melding an introspective start with a rousing chorus, courtesy of bass drum and
twinkling guitar. The fact that his voice occasionally sounds slightly like Mark Owen gone solo is no bad thing; it's a cute touch to unashamedly happy tunes.
Lewis is obviously fond of his weather analogies, with much talk of sun and rain, but this can be forgiven for the inclusion of understated bongos on 'Brand New Day'. It is beach holiday goodness without the
irritating forcefulness of Jack Johnson. Indeed, this is the kind of simple, classic pop we should all be privy to, but get fobbed off with the likes of The Feeling instead. And if mushy sentimentality is
your thing, the subject of this album could as easily be the object of your heart's desire as a certain man upstairs. Insert your muse here.
'Ancient Light': providing a warm counter to the January blues.
Review from Rhythm and Booze webzine (review - http://rbfanzine.co.uk/drupal/?q=node/202)
'Ancient Light' is the latest release from Phil Lewis and genre-wise it falls somewhere between indie, nu-country and pure pop. It's full of very well written, superbly structured songs that have a lightly
infectious nature, particularly those that err on the side of country. Because of the strength of writing, the songs are certainly more than just decent and 'Ancient Light' is probably more indie than pop but the
album tends to have an overall lighter feel to it as the pop element breaks through!
For this work, vocalist Lewis has pulled together an impressive bunch of musicians that not only give the 'main man' their all, but they sound very accomplished in their own rights. Top marks for that
Mr.Lewis, you seem to know exactly what's required for your excellent songs. As I listen, I can't help but feel that Lewis struggles to bring out enough emotion in his voice; something that's always more
difficult in the sterile environment of a studio with no one to react to and with! I'd like to bet that he cuts loose a bit more in front of a live audience where he can feed of their responses and emotions. And,
this is where I find 'Ancient Light' a little lacking; Lewis seems to be holding back vocally! It's as if he doesn't have too much confidence in his own vocal abilities - he seems to restrict his range and vocal
dynamics - more of which would bring out so much more from his songs . I'd like to hear this guy really belting out his lyrics with the emotion and sentiment that they deserve.
Lewis' songs are pretty mature sounding and generally the album is extremely well crafted and presented. 'Ancient Light' from Phil Lewis shows great potential in many areas but just lacks that certain
oomph in the voice department. Get that right and he could have something very much more commercially loaded. As it stands, 'Ancient Light' by Phil Lewis is an extremely competent and very pleasant
piece of work - by cutting loose, it could have been excellent! I think though there's a lot more to come yet from Phil Lewis. (Rhythm & Booze rating 7)
Review from UK Music Search website - (review - http://www.ukmusicsearch.co.uk/reviews/phil-lewis-ancient-light.html)
A South Wales based singer/songwriter in possession of a voice that sounds like a more nasal version of Richard Ashcroft crossed with a more relaxed version of Johnny Ramone, Phil Lewis returns with
his latest collection of songs here with ANCIENT LIGHT.
These are songs that slot right into that familiar singer/songwriter mould, Phil Lewis dealing in slight indie rock by way of mature pop, think Stereophonics by way of Crowded House and latter day REM.
ANCIENT LIGHT is an album of decent if unremarkable songs, the likes of opening track IS ANYBODY HOME? and DON'T GIVE UP, DON'T GIVE IN, jaunty slices of indie guitar pop that are catchy
enough without becoming infectious. The kind of songs that pass the time well enough, but never leave you stunned or amazed. The similarly toned IN YOUR EMBRACE is another case in point, jangly
guitars and upbeat melodicism finding Phil Lewis wearing his Crowded House and REM influences on his sleeve.
NO ACCIDENT is a slick sounding affair that comes across like Echo And The Bunnymen crossed with The Gin Blossoms, solid stuff even if it does seem to run out of ideas less than halfway through.
Elsewhere BRAND NEW DAY is a gospel inspired acoustic singalong, BEAUTIFUL a frenetic indie jangle fest and closing number MORE OF YOU a pleasant folk tune that brings to mind Bob Dylan.
ANCIENT LIGHT is a record of decent if unspectacular sounding songs, Phil Lewis a singer/songwriter whose talent is unmistakable, even if his delivery sometimes suggests a sense of the average rather
than the spectacular. ANCIENT LIGHT is an album with the right elements to see it propel Phil Lewis's career in the right forward direction. A collection of songs that have enough of that pop-rock
ingredient, this is an album that while never spectacular is a solid piece of work.
Review from Cross Rhythms website (Review - http://www.crossrhythms.co.uk/products/Phil_Lewis/Ancient_Light/22313/)
Phil's brand of singer/songwriting follows a road well travelled, staying within the traditional confines of guitar-based pop indie, bringing together four chord standard rockers with moments of acoustic
balladry in this collection of songs. The album is well produced for an independent release, with some sultry eastern flavours introducing "No Accident" before the gypsy folk takes over, bizarrely delivering
what seems to be an anti-evolution rant. "Beautiful"' is bound to split opinion - a no doubt heartfelt love song which seems to work on the familiar "our eyes met across a crowded room" formula, only set in
church. Maybe it's just me, but universally expressing delight seems much harder to capture and be sincere than melancholy and despair. "Brand New Day" sees Phil at his most engaging - lyrical intensity
and honesty beautifully arranged. Phil cites his influences for this collection as a "blend of U2, REM and Crowded House" - but I detected more than a hint of James about many of the songs. Given the
intense competition and sheer quantity of soundalike artists populating today's scene Phil brings a solid approach based on sound guitar playing, pleasant vocals and agreeable melodies - occasionally
reaching more intriguing musical heights. In doing so he proves that he's more than your average white Christian male with a six string. 6/10
Reviews of "Ripples From a Small Pond"
Review from Music Emmissions website (http://www.musicemissions.com/artists/albums/index.php?album_id=13810)
Hailing from Wales, UK, Singer/Songwriter Phil Lewis has been steadily writing and producing music for the past decade or so. In that time he has garnered
much praise for his songwriting, placing as a semifinalist in the UK Songwriting Competition and earning assorted praise from many sources. While unfamiliar
with his work up to this year's upcoming Ripples From A Small Pond, it's rather easy to see where the good words are coming from after a couple of listens.
No doubt heavily influenced by his youthful experiences listening to Top 40, the songs across this album are generally written in a catchy, radio-friendly format.
At it's core is a sound that is just begging to be given ample airtime, but the variety in textures and instrumentation leaves plenty more room for positive
impressions. The percussion throughout the album takes on a worldly feel, a groove that pulses with influences from near and far. The album opens on a slice of
Bian Eno-esque ambience, "I Think It's Time", which is a wonderful introduction to Lewis' soulful, emotive vocals and uplifting lyrical content that will run
consistently through the album. "Everything Just As It Should Be" is quite simply a fantastic song, with bright acoustic guitar floating over a tight bassline and
up-tempo drums. One of the album's highlights for sure. "Bright On All Sides" has a modern Paul Simon feel to it, more focused on the guitar's rhythms and
tasteful synths. "Back To Budapest" hooks you right in with some upbeat vocal melodies, electric guitar chugs spurring into a really well done chorus. "I Live In
Hope" is one of my favorites, a jazzy number with some wonderful saxophone playing, very tasteful and uplifting lyrically. "Dripping Away" has a painful history to
it, an ode to Phil's father who past away due to Alzheimer's Disease. Very, very sad song, but beautifully done nonetheless.
The remainder of the album is solid, and on the whole I'd have to say Ripples From A Small Pond is just what I, personally, needed to get back in touch with the
more indie and expressional side of rock music. It may not be as impacting to those who frequent this style of pop-oriented rock, but there are too many
well-written and performed songs here not to give credit where it's due. Despite his hardships and difficulties in keeping a band together, it's a true shame that
Phil Lewis hasn't been scooped up by a bigger label so far. With an album like this in his repetoire, it can only be a matter of time before more and more
people enjoy the sound and remember the name. 4 out of 5
Review from the Mag website (http://www.the-mag.me.uk/Music/Articles/Item/Phil-Lewis-Ripple-From-a-Small-Pond/)
There is something of Frankie Goes To Hollywood in the first song on this album. 'I Think It's Time' is an ambient intro to the record that builds up the anticipation.
'Everything Just As It Should Be' is a cross between Turin Brakes and The Beautiful South with a bit of the feel of 'The 13th' in the beat. This song slides nicely into the more enigmatic 'Bright On All
Sounds'. This smouldering track has flickers of Edwyn Collins.
'Worlds Apart' kicks off with a looping xylophone, but is a song that waits for its chorus with a bit of a lazy verse. The chorus is a good one, slightly Suede-esque in the style of the later albums.
Gradually building itself into something of an anthem, 'Back To Budapest' ingratiates itself after a rocky start, and just when it gets really good it hands over to 'I Live In Hope', with its ethnic beat and
'Dripping Away' is a nice gentle ballad, almost a lullaby with its picked guitar and soft warm strings. This is one of the better sounding melodies on the record, with the softness in the vocal giving it a
Things aren't as sickly sweet as you think they are going to be in the ironically titled 'Everybody's Happy', a social commentary, but also one of the best songs on the record - along with the next track
'New Page' is a bouncy pop record with 'Wrap My Arms' ending the record with a piano and a guitar.
You can fall in and out of love with this record. There are bits you really like, and bits that you don't. I think that this is probably down to the world-music feel of much of the record, combined with the exotic
switches in instrumentation. There are songs that follow a thread, but also completely off the wall tracks that stow away on the album.
Review from Never For Nothing fanzine
Phil Lewis has been consistently making good Christian albums for more than 15 years. His sound isn’t praise and worship and that, in my opinion, is the only reason that he hasn’t been approached by
one of the major UK record companies. The writing for this album was bookened by two significant events in Phil’s life – the death of his father, and then being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, himself.
The album itself has 11 tracks, and kicks off with the atmospheric overture called ‘I Think It’s Time’. From then, we’re treated to ‘Everything Just As It Should Be’ – a pop song that deserves radio play. I
must admit, that after reviewing a lot of his music over the years, I found the lyrics, this time round, more difficult to get my head round. Saying that, Phil still provides plenty of hooks, whether they be lyrically
or musically, to catch your ear. Julian Wiggins provides some excellent saxophone playing on ‘I Live in Hope’, while Ben Haynes’ thoughtful acoustic guitar playing on ‘Dripping Away’, brings out the best in
Phil’s vocal range. The album’s purple patch begins at track 8, ‘Everybody’s Happy’ raises the old chestnut about wanting material things, but Phil’s delivery is bright and well prodiced. ‘He gives an insight
into his own personal faith on ‘Faith’, while ‘New Page’ is all about stepping out in Christ for the first time. Phil cites influences as being Crowded House and R.E.M but, over the years, he has developed
his own style. I said earlier that Phil has consistently produced good albums over the years, and this one continues that trend. 8/10
Review from Basement Sound Underground website (http://www.basementsound.co.uk/?L=blogs.blog&article=1163)
Phil Lewis is a Alternative rock/pop solo artist from South Glamorgan, Wales. I reviewed his last single, “Sad” quite song time ago on a different site, and now he has another single on the way, called,
“Dripping Away” which includes on the B side, “Bright On All Sides”. His music is quite different from what I would usually listen to, but there is no denying that this is great music that can be easily
appreciated. This man knows how to compose a hit!..
"Dripping Away" is very emotional, and it would be given the nature of the song,as it is about Phil losing his dad to Alzheimer's disease. The song captures the emotions of Phil's loss of his father perfectly,
it is a eye opening song that helps raise awareness of the disease. Its so beautifully written and sung. Such a heart felt, real moving track that will touch you. Especially through the effective lyrics and
The single is to help raise money for Alzheimer's, and all proceeds will be donated to this, which I think is a great cause, check it out and help if you can.
"Bright On All Sides" is a mainstream, well produced, and very professional sounding song, like all his previous work. Its uplifting and has a positive message with brilliant lyrics to portray this.
Both tracks are very different from each other, but brilliant in their own right!
This man is a real talent..he knows the recipe of a captivating song, created through passion, creativity and professionalism.
Reviews of "Age of Nothing" EP
Review from Music Emmissions website (http://www.musicemissions.com/artists/albums/index.php?album_id=17438)
Phil Lewis, English singer-songwriter, had already made a lasting impression on me with his earlier releases. Meeting somewhere between the Top-40 bombast of
U2, the underlying indie sensibilities of Paul Simon and a heavy dose of Peter Gabriel-esque atmosphere, Phil Lewis has a formula for memorable music. Age Of
Nothing is his upcoming EP, to be released early in 2014. Featuring longtime collaborator Ben Haynes on all instruments, Lewis has put together an intriguing
collection that ventures a bit from his normal upbeat approach.
"Imprisoned" intimately details the fallacy of attempting to continue a relationship that seems to have a future, but is deceptive in appearance. With a big,
progressively tilted hook lying in wait via a tremendous chorus and some fantastic songwriting, it almost sells the entire EP by itself. "Ready" is far more pensive in
its approach, working off of a quick tempo beat and quiet keyboard flourishes to tell its tale of rising above the heartache of loss. The title track is lyrically
outstanding, digging into the pressures of outside opinion on our lives and how we live them. The song itself isn't the album's strongest, but it definitely leaves an
impression with Phil's words and upbeat, poppy vocals. For me, the darker, more depressive "Devil Comes To Dance" is the best of the set, with rippling guitars
grinding over Phil's contemplative lyrics, seguing into a rising chorus that sends chills down the spine. Truly outstanding. "Fly Again" goes down smooth with a
surf-rock meets middle-eastern vibe, all pressed together nicely. "Calling Me" ends the album with some noteworthy guitar work including some great leads and a
solid solo in between a decent last declaration of independence from the broken feelings that most of the EP dwells in.
A change in lyrical approach, alongside a clear improvement in songwriting and specific touches of instrumental flair that were not as noticable on past releases all
combine to make Age Of Nothing as strong a statement as Phil Lewis has made so far. My only real complaint, aside from a couple of tracks that don't quite stick as
well as others? An EP is just too little time to spend with such a capable songwriter. Here's hoping this leads to a full-length along the same lines. In the meantime,
Age Of Nothing deserves your time, attention and praise. 4/5
Review from Ringmaster Reviews website (http://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/phil-lewis-age-of-nothing-ep/)
Stocked full with hooks which just will not let go and melodies which linger long after their passing, the Age of Nothing EP from Welsh singer/songwriter Phil Lewis provides six buoyant and inventive tracks
which play like new adventures but approach the imagination like old friends you feel you previously knew. The release certainly embraces the ears and its own enterprise with relish, with an eagerness
and vibrancy which soaks every accomplished note and idea, and though it also offers open familiarities in its presence it wears those inspirations proudly on its sleeve showing the eclectic influences on
the creativity of Lewis.
Hailing from Penarth, Lewis has already released a trio of well-received and acclaimed albums since 2007, the release year of debut Ancient Light. Bringing inspirations from the likes of The Killers into
the new release it is only another flavour which has marked the informative and creative years of the man. From listening to the top Forty every Sunday as a child to start him off, Lewis has been drawn and
been nourished by the likes of 1970’s funk, indie music, and ‘big stadium bands’ like U2 and Coldplay, as well as finding a particular affinity with African rhythm music too. All these sparks in his own
tempting style helped to take subsequent albums Movements In Space and Ripples From a Small Pond, 2009 and ’11 respectively, to a certain and keen recognition but it is easy to suggest that the
excellent Age of Nothing might be the one to make Lewis a name on many more appreciative lips.
It is fair to say that the EP does not come down on the ear and seduce like an instant classic, though it certainly provides a bait that is impossible to move away from, but it is when the songs, their
melodies, and those impossibly addictive hooks return on their own with a beckoning potency far away from the record that you know there is something extra i and long term about the release. Opening
track Imprisoned is a prime example, a song which in its company is a sizeable temptation but one laying seeds within which blossom and seduce all over again whenever they want at any unpredictable
moment away from the record and music. The song emerges from a small and enticing sonic web with a great bassline coaxing which is almost gnawing the senses. As with all the instruments, the
delicious bait is provided by Lewis’ collaborator Ben Haynes who also produced the EP, as well as previous albums. The trap is soon snapped shut as an immediate appetite for the thick heavy tones and
punchy rhythms is further lured by flames of guitars and the distinct tones of Lewis. His voice does not jump out but there is a quality which defines it and works well with the melodic harmonies which join
him throughout. A definite early U2 feel to the track breaks out to add a further vein of strong suasion but it is the hypnotic rhythmic enticement which grips the deepest whilst making a virulent canvas for
the melodies and infectious charms of the song to work their rich attraction.
The impressive start is instantly matched by the equally contagious Ready. Less energetic than the first but still with an eager gait to its persuasion the bass again steals the march on the other sounds as
it strolls alongside the vocals. Soon though elegant electro kisses and a melodic tantalising is adding extra magnetism as the song leads into the emotively fired chorus. It is like a flare up of melodic flame
and again has something recognisable in its seventies rock built presence. Not as irresistible as its predecessor but an easy to welcome and hard to escape slice of rock pop smouldering, the song only
increases the already strong appeal of the release.
The title track is another interminably seductive offering, guitars and rhythms resourcefully veining a poetic ambience before all collude to forge a pop sculpted song with a rock frame and pounding which
leaves you wanting more whilst implanting again that essence which brings it back to mind again and again. Its successor Devil Comes To Dance shows another side to the release and Lewis’
songwriting, the track a scuzz lit rub of vocals and guitar creating a dark atmospheric intrigue whilst keys add Doors like melodic heat and psyche tempting to the causticity. Though maybe this is one song
which fails to linger and return like the others it is a riveting blaze face to face which sets you up perfectly for the fully addictive Fly Again. There is a sixties rock/pop air to the song which enlarges its lure
with a sultry melodic climate and expressive guitar craft, at times an Echo and the Bunnymen spice pervading its narrative.
The EP is completed by Calling Me, a song with a similar premise and spicery to the previous song whilst creating its own distinct character and enjoyable venture. It is a strong and ripe final invitation into
the world of Phil Lewis, another influential beckoning which if not as powerful as earlier track certainly like the EP as a whole spotlights the satisfying creativity of an artist who on the evidence of Age of
Nothing deserves a much wider attentive audience. 8/10
Review from Never For Nothing fanzine (January 2014 edition)
I cannot believe that I’ve been following Phil’s musical career for nearly 18 years. Numerous releases have seen him produce some really good songs, and gain him a record contract for his “Movements In
Space” album. If that’s not enough, he’s also gained a semi finalist place in the UK Songwriting Contest. This latest release finds him collaborating, musically, with long time friend Ben Hayes, who
provides some interesting sounds for Phil’s distinctive vocals. ‘Imprisoned’ is the mini-album’s first track and, from the great drum sounds, right through to the excellent guitar work, the result is perfect for
Phil’s voice. With many influences over the years, there’s possibly a nod in the direction of The Killers with this song, and that’s no bad thing. It’s a a fantastic realisation in anyone’s life that they are
prepared to accept God into their lives, and ‘Ready’ describes that feeling of excitement. It’s another engaging song and, lyrically, spot on. There’s an almost 80’s sound to the title track. I’m not sure that
I’ve got this right, but it sounds as if Phil’s singing about a mid-life crisis! It’s more electro-pop than the previous tracks, but I liked it a lot. However, I can’t say the same about ‘Devil Comes to Dance’.
Here, it’s mainly distorted guitar for accompaniment, as Phil warns about letting Satan get a hold in your life. Follow his ways, and he will be dancing. The lyrics are fine, but I found that the guitar sound just
didn’t provide the menace that I believe the song required. Of the last two songs, ‘Calling Me’ is the stronger. When all is said and done, it’s your destiny to walk with God, and he’s just waiting for you to
answer His call. Phil’s never been afraid to experiment with his sound, and I think that’s why I look forward to hearing his music. He always seems to come up with something different to his last collection,
and this is no different. Who knows where the future will lead him? But I, for one, will be listening. 7/10