Alexis Ffrench

"Evolution"

(Sony); (Instrumental)

By ​Phil ​Bennett

I recently asked my dentist to play this album to help me through the endurance test which is a couple of deep fillings on a Saturday morning and, boy, am I glad I did.

It wasn’t enough for me to beg the dental team to let me stay, but it certainly made for a much more relaxing experience as this dreamy, utterly beguiling selection of pieces whisked me away into its soft arms.

From the opening cascades of Reborn, this luxuriously melancholic record instantly takes hold.

Melodies like soft whispers breeze past your ears as Ffrench’s mellifluous piano caresses pick out the notes, while the wide open spaces are filled with broadly sweeping string swells from the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.

Bluebird is a paisley-patterned flight of fancy that flutters playfully like its title suggests it should, Tomorrow Song is an exercise in powerful stillness, while Where Worlds Collide is like a slow immersion in warm water.

Elsewhere, Exhale is an absolute delight, as it demonstrates that piano and electric guitar can duet like one pair of hands and Waiting To Breathe takes you unexpectedly down a rustic folk lane.

Restful and reflective, Evolution is one beautiful dream after another.

Gorgeous.

​Phil ​Bennett

Musician, actor, singer, music reviewer, Phil’s interests cover a lot of bases and this is reflected in the music he writes about. From blues to soul, ambient to electronic, Phil writes about artists he feels are interesting, true to their craft and worthy of your ears.