Review of Rocks In My Shoes by Xan Phillips, radio presenter, Voice FM (Southampton UK)
This album is what the religious community needs, someone to come along and deliver pop and praise.
Whether that community takes immediately to Henta Ellis is to be seen but even on first listen to ‘Oh Glory’ you have to feel it is a classic, it gives me almost the same gospel energy that I felt in the recent Elvis film.
That had some wonderful moments in which spirit and music combine to bring about revelation. Although ‘Oh glory; may not be as gusty and earthy, it will give parishioners and believers the chance to let their hair down and send their praises high.
Maybe that’s not the direction for you, but ‘Our Town’ is another appealing song that doesn’t feel like the Lord is being the main focus – where you get a great balance between praise and spirit, where people are feeling the spirit, without being told they are feeling it.
I appreciate that in certain circles of praise it feels good to mention the Lord’s name many times, and you shouldn’t drift too far from that if it pleases the crowd.
However, to me, understanding comes through discovery rather than the bluntness of that some songs possess, they demand to accept the Lord by listening, rather than feeling.
The final song ‘King of Kings’ is my favorite. I like the crow, but I wonder if it detracts too much. I would like to know how the song sounds without it, or with an instrument in its place, just out of curiosity.
The backing musicians and vocalists are excellent. Henta has surrounded herself with people who feel the same way as she does and it shows. Together they will develop and grow, and I can imagine when they play these songs in the right setting, the audience reaction will inspire them further.
I’m hoping that King of Kings, the last track of the album, is a taste of the direction Henta is taking the next album. I look forward to hearing it.
Overall, these ramblings can be boiled down to: classic Henta, great voice and tunes, interesting use of instruments that should deliver pleasure to her main audience.
by Xan Phillips, radio presenter, Voice FM (Southampton UK)
“Rocks in My Shoes” album review in NKC Tribune 8th December 2022
“Our Town” song and project reviewed by Jim Fossett (NKC Tribune)
Henta & Anamchara Ministries article by Jim Fossett (NKC Tribune)
Review by Robert Silverstein of Roots Music Report
Blessed with a singing voice from heaven and the tasteful compositional skills to write music that makes the most of it, UK born, Washington State based Henta Ellis has released a number of intriguing New Age vocal, pop, electronic and instrumental albums for quite a while now and this writer was lucky enough to review her 2010 album Laserium For The Soul. In 2012, she released Butterfly Song, which reflected her personal journey of continuing to search for peace and truth and, after moving into Anamchara Monastery & Ministries, Henta released her first Christian album called Beautiful Creation, followed by a collection of over 20 praise songs. It’s been a while but in late 2020, lo and behold, ten years after Laserium, Henta returned with a new album called Exodus. Speaking about the differences between now and then, Henta told me,
“Laserium was more of a personal journey inwards to find peace and meaning but Exodus is about community, the need for social interaction and a group cry out to God for help… It’s about a desire to turn from our bad character (not loving and caring about others) to being great image bearers for God and recognizing that we have each been gifted with things we can bring to make the group stronger, not just ourselves! So Exodus is about leaving behind the self and idol worship by which the world can so easily distract us, with a renewed desire to do what is right and just and to bring a message of hope!“
Henta, like the rest of us must have had a very hard decade because on the 12-track Exodus Henta has clearly turned to God to find solace and renewed inspiration. With its uplifting lyrical messages, Exodus is no doubt inspired by Henta becoming a teacher and music minister at Anamchara Ministries & Monastery. The spiritual element of Exodus is easy to see yet her voice is in such breathtaking form and it totally reflects her fondness for the sounds inspired by Celtic Christian Folk Worship and Hebrew praise. Superbly recorded and featuring a number of backing musicians and vocalists from Anamchara’s fellowship and community, that Henta is keen to credit for their amazing contributions, Exodus is a noteworthy collection of songs about repentance, redemption and restoration, from the wilderness to the garden. As is usual with Henta’s albums, the sound quality is first-rate and the CD packaging is exemplary. Those listeners fortunate enough to hear her new album will find renewed hope for a better life with Exodus from spiritual music maker Henta Ellis.
Review by Mark Johnson of Sea of Tranquility— A very thoughtful review by Mark Johnson. I really appreciate the fact that he truly understands the deep message I am sharing through these songs is about Jesus and the joy of walking with Him, in what continues to be a very troubled world.
Review by Krysta Gibson of New Spirit Journal
Review by Robert Steven Silverstein of MWE3.com (in the May news and notes)
Review by Mark Johnson of Sea of Tranquility—the very first review of Butterfly Song. Mark really captured the true essence of this album and writes so beautifully and with such great insight. My wish is for other people who listen to this album to feel hope, joy and comfort as they immerse themselves in the music. You can also read the interview I did with Mark.
Here is a cool interview with The Melon’s Elliot Trotter about my song Rain. You’ll also see Elliot’s brilliant live music video of me performing/recording this song that he filmed and produced at the Piano Studio Seattle.
Laserium For The Soul
Article by Jason Baxter of the Stranger
Review in Seattle City Arts Magazine by Robert Ham
Had the pleasure of chatting with Xan Phillips on Amazing Radio
Review in Music Web Express 3000 by Robert Silverstein
“The world’s going crazy and nobody gives a damn anymore.” Those words were actually written by Kinks mainman Ray Davies on the ‘Sleepwalker’ album back in 1977. I guess, 30+ years later, not much has changed in a world still ruled by fear, war and greed. Perhaps that’s why the healing vibe of New Age music is on track for a major comeback in 2010. One new artist taking the bull by the horns so to speak is U.K. bred, Washington state based Henta. I usually have little faith in the ‘Grammy’ awards given out each year but I was pretty surprised to find out that among the usual suspects, Henta’s 2009 CD, ‘Laserium For The Soul’ was actually nominated for a grammy, taking place as usual in early 2010. Put simply, Henta’s new CD is a splendid way to relax for an hour or so. Compared to most of the New Age music released today, Henta’s CD features her wondrous singing meshed with her own light electronica accompaniment. Even though that concept isn’t new, perhaps it’s the way Henta has structured her sound that really elevates it and makes the whole thing click. Henta’s 2008 CD, ‘Daisy Dancing’ was well received but if people get to hear the new ‘Laserium’ CD, I think it could be a big success. A description of Henta’s sound might be a kind of 21st century Enya—a stellar merging of pop, rock and even some hip beats all fuelled by a trance and dance kind of New Age meditation vibe that instills serenity in the listener at every turn. Henta’s YouTube videos are really cool. The CD artwork for the ‘Laserium’ CD is excellent. Inside, in the liner notes you, can read about healing light and gentle journeys of relaxation and meditation and balancing your energy chakras. If you’re stressed out and/or bummed out the way this 00 decade of war and recession has turned out, dim the lights, get comfortable and let Henta’s magical music take your weary mind away.
Review by New Spirit Journal
This music is called “sonic nurturing for your inner garden” and I certainly feel nurtured when listening to it. The music is designed to work with balancing and supporting the main chakras. Henta has worked in the vowel sounds and musical keys for each chakra to help activate their vibration. Henta is a singer/songwriter and has been writing songs for about 30 years. Although classically trained on piano, she progressed to keyboards ranging from a Yamaha SY55 to a Roland XP-80. She now has a home studio set up in Seattle and uses Cubase SX3/Cubase 4 with mostly virtual instruments for her recordings, as well as using Ableton LIVE for performances.
‘Laserium for the Soul’ is one of those CDs you can meditate to, play in the background while being creative, or even enjoy while driving your car. The music is very adaptable. Sometimes it feels very energizing while at others it is relaxing and trancelike. The sounds range from electronic to vocal and sometimes it is very difficult to actually name what sound is being produced; this is part of the magic of the album. If you’re looking for something a little different that will make you feel good, give this CD a try. If you can’t find it at your local store, go to www.hentamusic.com.
Wanna Luv You
Review by Techtronic Sound
Another great artist from the podshow Podsafe music network. Her music reminds me of the Cranberries juiced up with a techno beat. Her other music is very mellow with an up-tempo beat. I know I keep saying that I don’t play soft chill music, but…well…you’ve got to admit her music is pretty cool, so that justifies me playing it. You can listen to all of her music on her site which you can get to by clicking her name above. You can also visit her link to the podsafe music network by clicking here.
Read reviews on CD Baby
Valerie Dickson said
Brilliant. I play this CD every day. The track Energy makes me dance around the lounge and Puppy Poo Poo makes me giggle. Superb CD for brightening anyone’s day. Val
Steve Turnidge said
I had the pleasure to get ‘Daisy Dancing’ – and on listening to it (many times) find it compares favorably with Beth Orton – great work! …Steve>>>