Michael Woodhead


Clifford White
New World Music

Containing some of Clifford White's best compositions from his Aqua, Nature's Symphony and The Lifespring works, this is one of those albums with which I fell in love before my first listening session was over. An Island Called Paradise exuded something magical, nostalgic, and inspirational that touched my inner self and lifted my spirits. Very few albums have managed to affect me in such a way upon first hearing them. Even my wife overhearing from another room commented on how nice the music was.

The few notes on the case exhort the listener to imagine her own inner paradise, to let the music wash away the burdens and pressures of the day, to calm the nerves and help still the overactive mind.

Hym-Halaya starts off our relaxation process with a tune reminiscent of a blend between Kenny G and Cusco-sensuous, but lively at the same time, and welcoming us to our island paradise. This is followed by the more serene and rhythmic Equatorial that sweeps us away. Then we're taken by the more up-tempo and joyful Worlds in Motion that soon leads us to Amazonia with its gentle beat-driven Japanese-inspired melody backed with a gently rolling surf.

Five more compositions that are delightful caress our ears, relaxing us, comforting us after times of stress and the rush of the everyday work world. Although these compositions are over ten years old, they're still fresh, enchanting and very much contemporary today as they were back then. An Island Called Paradise is well worth listening to over and over again.

My one gripe? There were no liner notes - nothing to tell about Clifford, nor any background information on any of his compositions. He's best known for his 1985 release, Ascension, which sold over 50,000 copies.

1 Hym-Halaya
2 Equatorial
3 Worlds in Motion
4 Amazonia
5 The Tropical Zone
6 Lost at the Shore
7 Inspirations
8 Rain Trek
9 First to Love