Get Amazon Music - Try it free
Get Amazon Music - Try it free

JFH Indie Review

JFH Indie Music Spotlight Review

Philip Shibata
CLICK COVER TO ENLARGE


Philip Shibata
Sun/Moon

Album length: 11 tracks
Style: R&B / Pop
Street Date: February 12, 2021



Philip Shibata makes a low-key full-length entry into the music industry with his eleven-song album, titled Sun/Moon. Though new to the solo gig, Shibata is no novice to the music industry as the former guitarist of the now-defunct UK worship band Rivers and Robots. Of Japanese-Canadian heritage, and living in Manchester UK, Philip speaks English, Japanese, and German, showcasing an impressive versatility. Likewise, his music is also varied, encompassing a wide array of sounds anchored in R&B, like neo-soul, city pop, j-pop, chill-hop, and lo-fi. Helping tie these sounds together with a cohesive thread gets a big assist from fellow River's & Robots band member Jonathan Ogden on production.

This album is all grooves, and although the entire thing is well-crafted, the biggest highlights came from the latter half of the album, beginning with the previously released single, "Drifting." Lauren Horii duets, pairing his suave confidence sung in English with her sweet vocal lilt response in Japanese, shining a great push-pull tension as he sings, "I won't back down til' I have you in my arms." Ultimately, it's my pick for the overall best tune on the album. The next song of note, "Eyes on You," features a guest spot from Montell Fish, who also gets a co-write. Gliding along with a lo-fi beat carrying the tune forward, they take turns crooning "we're walking the walk to your heart," which could be directed to God or a significant other. Either way, it's a close second to "Drifting" for the album's highest moment. Lastly, nearing the end of the album at track ten, "Sad World" is short, sweet, and another standout, featuring female vocals from artist Earlybird.

While the main drawback to this particular style is the predominant volume lends to some of the songs sounding too similar, Shibata wisely trends toward three and a half minutes or less on each track to keep this from becoming a glaring issue. Further music releases could benefit from the shortform EP of 5-6 songs at a time, or perhaps a greater variety of tempo and tone moving beyond the even-keeled and chill delivery utilized here.

Sun/Moon is an album for fans of Young Oceans, Rivers & Robots, and Jonathan Ogden's solo album, 24. If ever there was a "mood" record, this is it, and this reviewer found it best as background music to activities like driving, a quiet late night, or candle-lit reading. This is in no way a knock or criticism, but certainly worth noting that it's not an album best suited for waking you up or for active pursuits. However, like the previously mentioned artists, the reward comes when repeat listens move the songs from the background to the conscious as a gentle nuance catches your attention. This could come in the form of a subtle melody shift, guitar lick, piano fill, or a lo-fi beat. All in all, Sun/Moon is an unassuming, though ultimately rewarding, listen, with several highlights worthy of addition to your playlist. Philip Shibata is off to a good start, and I hope we continue to hear more of his ambient vibes.

- Review date: 2/6/21, written by Josh Balogh of Jesusfreakhideout.com



(JFH Sponsor Spot)

Check out the debut single from Elijah Waters!

 

. Record Label: None
. Album length: 11 tracks
. Street Date: February 12, 2021

  1. Getting Over
  2. Boy
  3. Sun/Moon
  4. Drifting
  5. Carry On
  6. Saikai
  7. Blind Spot
  8. Eyes on You
  9. Sad World
  10. Sweet n Bitter
  11. For Nothin

 

 

 

go to main Indie review page
go to Indie Review Index

 

              
Check out the debut single from Elijah Waters!

Search JFH




This Thursday, June 23, 2022
SINGLES
NEEDTOBREATHE Talk of the Town - Single (independent)


This Friday, June 24, 2022
ALBUMS
Dave Barnes Remembering: Vol. 2 - EP (independent)
Sandra McCracken Send Out Your Light [Integrity]
Katy Nichole Katy Nichole - EP [Centricity]
Passion Burn Bright: More Songs Live From Passion - EP [Capitol CMG]
The Red Collective Together We Rise (feat. Jetty Rae & Mitch Dane) - EP [Audiosocket]
Ian Yates Between The Joy And The Sorrow: Part 1 [7Core Music]

SINGLES
29:11 Worship May It Be Jesus (feat. Zion Rempel) - Single [DREAM]
Canyon Hills Worship On and On (Radio Version) - Single [DREAM]
Amy Grant Turn This World Around (2022 Version) - Single [Sparrow/AG]
Jonas Myrin Mountains - Single [Capitol CMG]
Tedashii Respect My Team (feat. Lecrae, Trip Lee) - Single [Reach]
Urban Life Worship Schaffe Raum - Single [Integrity]
The Wisecarvers When I Run To You - Single [Horizon]
Ayiesha Woods God Forever - Single (independent)


Next Friday, July 1, 2022
SINGLES
Meredith Mauldin & UPPERROOM You Remain (feat. Elyssa Smith) - Single [DREAM]

For all release dates, click here!
 



Listen to the New Album By Aryn Michelle!




Sign up for a JFH Indie Review

Check out depositphotos for royalty free images