Marshall Styler's new age keyboard instrumental music "is designed to relax, heal and to uplift the body, mind, and soul," says a note on the back cover of his eighth solo album, A Face in the Clouds. "Perfect for massage, yoga, and the healing arts." More concretely, the note also says the music "is a blend of instrumental piano sounds and keyboard accompaniments." This is an accurate description. In the foreground of every one of the nine tracks, each running between four and seven minutes, is a single-note piano melody, played slowly and sometimes joined by a countermelody played on some electronic keyboard. The melodies are supported by a swirling bed of electronic instrumental sounds, for a spacy effect. Styler, a former rock musician, has not entirely lost his sense of pop song structures, however. On occasion, for example in the final track, "Walking Mansfield Dam," he comes up with a tune that could be developed into a pop or rock song with the proper arrangement and lyric, if he still had that inclination.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann