They say that you should never forget your roots. Phil is a clear example of this concept. Growing up outside the small but proud rural Ontario village of St-Pascal/Baylon, there really isn't much to do. To some, that may seem to be a cultural disadvantage. Not so for this emerging artist.
You see, when you're a kid in the country in a musical family, it's only natural that you're going to pick up some musical skill. For Phil, things have progressed well beyond strumming his guitar to the Beatles songbook. Phil's influences and abilities stretch far beyond the four walls of the country home of his youth.
And he certainly has acquired the creativity and craftsmanship to write an entire album. Not only that, but like Matthew Sweet and Lenny Kravitz before him, Phil played every instrument on the album himself.
The album gives listeners a further glimpse into a young man that has already proven himself musically in and out of a studio.
With so many wonderful ideas swimming in his head, it was truly necessary for an album of his own to be created. More than just ideas, Phil's thorough knowledge of arrangement and production allowed him to record a brilliant disk in a relatively short amount of time.
The recording engineer of choice for Phil was the very capable Bruce Valeriani of Blue Bear Sound. Phil has recorded with Bruce before and really enjoys the professionalism and environment that Bruce had to offer.
Having been a lead guitarist in an active rock band for some time now, Phil showcases the diversity of his six-string skills with classical fingerpicking technique on the title track "Breathe..." and rock steady chops on "On Your Way".
The foundation of the music is solid and well bonded with enchanting melodies. Phil's voice has remarkable distinction and character, yet he is able to weave his voice into each of the songs with ease.
With a solo project, there are no creative limits to which one must be constrained. Furthermore, there is nothing stopping you from expressing themes at a personal level. Phil uses the Breathe album to expose his inner struggles and desires. It's introspective, yet one can easily relate to the topics or stories within the lyrics. For example, he becomes open and vulnerable in "Rescue Me", yet openly frustrated in the single "When You're Around". Phil shows genuine emotion in "One Day", one of the many highlights on the disk.
Phil's eagerness to experiment resulted in well-crafted song arrangements with multiple layers of guitar and vocals. The tracks are dynamic, which should hold the attention and delight of modern rock fans.
Phil acknowledges his great friends and influences with this album. Again, he doesn't forget his roots. And when you hear the album, you won't forget Phil.