Digital music took the music world by storm when it was first introduced via the venerable compact disc (CD) in the early 1980s. By the end of that decade, CDs had overtaken LPs in popularity. The digital revolution continued to evolve, spawning MP3 files, digital downloads, and online streaming. But for the faithful music aficionado, there was still only one true format--the vinyl LP.
And so it was that when legendary Gospel Music Hall of Famer and guitar virtuoso Phil Keaggy and multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and producer Rex Paul decided to collaborate on their transcendent new rock album, Illumination, there was never any doubt that this masterpiece would be made available on vinyl.
The wait is over. Keaggy and Paul have announced the limited edition release of Illumination on vinyl. Fans can order the album on vinyl now from philkeaggy.com/store.
"There's something special about the needle drop and sound of playing our record the way I grew up hearing my favorites," Rex Paul declares. "It is like a meditation in sound. I am happy for the resurgence of vinyl records and turntables. They make listening to music a special event. I hope everyone feels the love we invested to craft this album!"
"I'm quite excited about our limited vinyl release of Illumination," Phil Keaggy adds. "I'm a fan of records and have been since my earliest days. There's just something about holding one of these 12 inch platters that contains music we've created together. Many boomers and younger listeners are rediscovering the sound and the feel of one of the great innovations of the last century. I hope record enthusiasts will enjoy the album Rex Paul and I made. The message is clear and the music is rockin'!"
Whether your preference runs to vinyl or digital, one thing is certain...Illumination is creating a major buzz among music fans as well as industry insiders. Most recently, the project was hailed by respected faith music resource UTR Media as one of the Best Albums of 2019 (So Far), citing the duo's "Killer production and an unabashed loved for tight, polished, classic rock."
Illumination joins a plethora of chart toppers and fan favorites on UTR Media's combined list of Best Albums & Songs of 2019 (So Far), including projects by Joy Williams (formerly of The Civil Wars), Martin Smith (formerly of Delirious?), Kirk Franklin, Mike Mains & The Branches, Judah & The Lion, Cindy Morgan, Hillsong United, and others. The list also highlights songs by Switchfoot, T Bone Burnett, Mavis Staples, Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors, Sufjan Stevens, Kevin Max, and more. For a complete list, visit utrmedia.org/2019a.
UTR Media's accolades join a growing stream of positive industry reviews, including Robert Berman of Christian Musician Magazine, who calls Illumination "...a supremely catchy arena rock/pop album recalling the '80s heyday of Survivor and Foreigner."
Writing for Sight Magazine in Australia, reviewer Marcis Cheong declares, "Illumination is a fusion of the skill, experience and faith of these two artists and the result is enlightening."
Bert Saraco, writing for The Phantom Tollbooth, says, "Illumination puts virtuosity in the context of relatable songs--songs that reflect the artists' hearts as much as their technical chops in a progressive pop format.... There's a freshness, an energy, a momentum, and an enthusiasm.... Don't let Illumination escape you--seek it out and enjoy a fresh cross-pollination of the classic and the new."
Reviewer Kevin Belmonte notes, "Some albums convey a special feeling, an atmosphere, that listeners want to experience again and again. Some recordings sound better each playing through, with more to discover. Illumination is just that kind of album."
"Illumination is art that encourages and refreshes us," declares Rex Paul. "There is an urgency to the music; it's aggressive in a good way. It's rock, but a special amalgam of classic, modern, and progressive rock. I think it harks back to the halcyon days of the Jesus Movement, when artists made the music they loved and imbued it with the message and style they believed in, without feeling the constraint to fit into some narrowly defined marketing agenda."
"It's like a triple shot of espresso," Phil Keaggy quips. "It's mature, but it sounds young. I think it will satisfy fans of prog rock, classic rock, and just plain old rock 'n' roll."
To purchase Illumination on vinyl or CD, visit philkeaggy.com/store or your favorite online music retailer.