HUGGING, CUDDLING, RELAXING NEW AGE LULLABIES FROM KEYBOARDIST RICK SPARKS

The thing about new age music, I guess like all genres, is that there are so many great artists working within the parameters of the form. Generally any gentle music fits into the category, but of course instrumental music is dominant. And some of the artists are incredibly adept at creating perfect new age music that does what so much of the best new age music does -- it works for relaxation, meditation, chilling out, intimate moments, background for parties, foreground for contemplation times, healing, mind expansion, personal reflection, etc.

Rick Sparks is one of those great artists who makes new age music that does everything it should. This pianist, synthesist, composer, arranger and producer has released his sixth album, Hushabye, and it takes right up where he left off on the previous five. His forte is playing luscious melodies on the piano and then cushioning those sounds with string sections (and occasional individual violins or cellos) and choirs singing wordlessly but in harmony (sometimes male, sometimes female and sometimes both).

Sparks calls the music on this album “peaceful angelic lullabies” and you can say that again. This is gentle music that swirls around you and actually forces you to relax. There are songs about love, peace, dreams, flowers, stars, Jesus, clouds, and angels. Don’t even try to fight it. Just give in to these musical moments and drift with it, or, as the cover of the CD says at the bottom: “Sail away to dreamland” (and this is over a picture of a sailing vessel in an ocean of clouds, stars and intergalactic light, sort of like the story of Peter Pan and Wendy and the boys adventuring out of their bedroom window at night). This music is ideal for cuddling up with on your own, with your significant other or, if you have children, with those little tykes (who might just fall asleep in your arms). No matter how you enjoy it, this album is definitely worth checking out. Buy it, stream it, find it today (or especially tonight).