“Deeper Imaginings” is the highly anticipated follow-up to Paul Adams and Elizabeth Geyer’s 2015 ZMR Contemporary Album of the Year winner “Imaginings”. It is always hard to replicate an album that has become a modern classic – but Adams and Geyer might have done just that. “Deeper Imaginings” continues where the previous album left off, giving us 11 larger-than-life songs and adding new elements along the way – going way deeper than ever before.
“Deeper Imaginings” will be available on November 15, 2019. You can listen to two of the songs right now on Bandcamp – “Endless Horizon” and “Evening”.
Paul Adams debuted in 1990 with “Various Waves” and has since released 11 critically acclaimed albums. He has over 100 million streams on Pandora. Elizabeth Geyer is an Australian singer, Trumpeter and pianist who also worked as a partner in “Imaginings”. In 2016 she released her fourth album, The Bridge. On “Deeper Imaginings” Paul and Elizabeth are joined by some incredibly talented musicians, namely David Hoffman (Trumpet soloist/arranger Ray Charles), India’s premier bansuri flute player Pravin Godkhindi, Alp Akmaz from Turkey and Gary Green (Formerly with the UK band Gentle Giant).
The album opener is called “Endless Horizon”. It is amazing how Adams, Geyer and friends effortlessly – and quickly – create an atmosphere that seems to go on forever and ever. All the troubles of everyday life disappear when listening. The Bansuri flute is our guide, like an ancient voice. The piano, duduk, guitar, percussion, and synths all fill in nicely and make this into a highly memorable moment. What is a fabulous opening!
“The Unfolding” has a free-flowing vibe that gives the listener a feeling of bliss. It might sound like a cliché, but there’s no other way to describe it. Slowly, slowly it builds up towards a gentle finale. The song communicates a feeling that you don’t have to go anywhere; You have already arrived, this is the only place to be.
Acceptance is an essential feeling on the journey towards healing and enlightenment. The song “Acceptance” takes us right into the core of this mental process. It is a quiet but powerful state. I like how Adams and Geyer portray acceptance not as a defeat, but a personal victory that makes it possible to move on in life.
On the other side of acceptance awaits a “New Morning”. I very much enjoy how each instrument seems to illustrate rays of lights, and how they make the morning come to life before our inner eye. It is a day filled with endless possibilities, and Adams and Geyer make us enjoy it to the fullest.
Essence & Flow
The first single from “Deeper Imaginings” was “Essence & Flow”, released in December 2018. In my single review I wrote: “When you hit play on “Essence & Flow”, it is as if the world is coming to life around you. There are some rich and warm synth pads, lush textures and few gentle piano notes. Soon we hear an ethnic flute, Elizabeth’s wonderful vocalization, and a citar. It is an amazing and creative combination of instruments, a fusion featuring the best of the best. Although the song rises in intensity, it brings with it a profound feeling of peace and harmony. If I were to use one word to describe it, it would be love. ”
But don’t take my word for it. Check it out here:
After such a display of artistry, how is it possible to move on? Well, “Allowing” is the answer to that. It is a quiet and gentle piece, giving us time to absorb it all. “Still Meadows” has much of the same atmosphere. The ambient melody seems to communicate directly to our souls. Make no mistake about it; It is powerful and existential material Adams and Geyer have in store for us. It is not just easy listening. Use with care.
The album has two parts; It is “a journey and back” kind of release. With “Awakening” we leave the “deeper” part behind and go exploring into something lighter and way more upbeat. Remove the songs “All That I Am” and “Hope for the Game” from your playlist if you only want the meditative material.
“All That I Am” is a jazzy piece with flugelhorn, guitar and a God-like male vocal, plus layers upon layers of synths and textures. To me, this is spectacular sound design. The lyrics are highly philosophical, dealing with life’s big questions; What is love? What is the meaning of it all? Is there a master plan?
“Evening” is the last meditative song on the album, completing our day-long journey. The flute sounds divine, masterfully accompanied by guitar and piano. When the song ends, I cannot help feeling a deep sense of gratitude for this inspired piece of music.
Now it is time to stand up and shake your body! “Hope For The Game” is a cool and surprisingly upbeat song. You might argue that this total change of atmosphere is contradictory to the rest of the album. But I believe that “All That I Am” and “Hope For The Game” in a way land the album and make it less divine, more human, more approachable.
In conclusion: It is impossible not to be amazed by “Deeper Imaginings” by Paul Adams, Elizabeth Geyer & friends. They have done something incredible; Deliver a worthy follow-up to “Imaginings” (2015). That in itself is a major accomplishment. I believe that “Deeper Imaginings” is an even better album, much thanks to the masterful single “Essence & Flow” and the quite surprising “All That I Am” and “Hope for the Game”. It shows that Adams and Geyer are not afraid to explore new sounds. It is what true artists do. They go deep.
Score: 96/100 – See our scoring policy
Make sure to visit pauladams.org for more information and music samples.
You may pre-order on Bandcamp.