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Now Hear This: Versal (EP) - Versal

Rating: ***1/2

Houston-based classical and new age artist, Javier Velez, aka Versal, has been making music since he was a kid when orchestral music "consumed him".

He was a bit of a child prodigy and became the conductor for a couple of prominent Handbell Choirs in his home of San Juan by the time he was 19, with a ton of media coverage surrounding it.

He let a successful professional career in film and TV pull him off track for some years but he's back where he belongs, writing and composing music again.

He's here with his first release as Versal and to be honest, I'm really excited to see what he's whipped up.

Catch ya after the jump.

Listen to "Versal" on Spotify here.

Track one, "Eternal" is a mellow and ambient slow-burner that is well developed and pleasant without building much momentum or leading to any crescendo of note. Still solid new age music and a decent way to open the EP. "Flamenco en Culebra" is well-played and moody. This one picks up the pace a little and is reminiscent of some of Enigma's hits of the late '80s and early '90s. "Dawn" is lighter in tone and a good change-of-pace here. Another solid track, but there hasn't been one that really blew me away so far. "Carrousel" is my favorite track on the album. Fun and hypnotic, it reminds me of something that would be played in an 80's sitcom outro. "All Together" is another moody one, this time heavily incorporating synth into the mix. "El Camino a Montserrat" is a good way to end the EP with Versal showing off most of the skills that we had come to appreciate on the first 5 tracks in one condensed tune. Good stuff.

Listen, fans of the new age genre are going to really get a kick out of this EP. Others might appreciate it for what it is, and quickly move on. I'm somewhere in the middle. Nothing blew my mind, but I thought every track was solid, with some better than others. I give it a solid recommend.

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