Revealing itself like the dawning of a new day, The Power Within is an uplifting, proud and expansive piece of music orchestrated with rich strings, voices and harps, and carrying a bold melody that speaks of peace, love, joy and togetherness. This is followed by a gentle and sombre piece entitled The Calling, a sensitive and emotive ballad brimming with sentimental mood and sweet nostalgia. Balletic in it’s mood and style, lyrical in it’s theme and substance, Clifford’s music is both gentle and emotional, yet bittersweet and melancholy. Expertly mixed with the subtlest of skill, the effect is both timeless and ageless.
The reflective mood continues with A Blessing, which has an almost sacred, hymnal atmosphere, yet again demonstrating Clifford’s ability to weave melodies that are sweetly emotional and subtle. This is followed by the exquisite track Eternity, a truly beautiful suite of orchestral subtlety, with gentle horn melodies and piano overlaid on a bed of heartwarming strings, which grows in passion and intensity to it’s conclusion.
As if through a glass darkly, Luna has a mysterious intensity, secretive, alluring and enigmatic. Gentle electric piano motifs are accompanied by misty strings, pulsing bass and cascading piano, which blend effortlessly together to create an aura of dark mystery and magic. As if previously obscured by cloud, more rhythms appear as the track evolves, layered upon each other, until the piece resembles the ticking of some ethereal clock, eternally tracking the lunar cycles and the eternal revolutions of time.
The mystery continues in Sanctuary, a magical and atmospheric ballad of serene reflection and contemplation. A glassy melody seems to drip tears of sadness upon the landscape, and misty strings roll across the hills, calling out like distant voices in the haze. An overall effect of silent mystery suffuses this track, deeply contemplative and magical. Reawakening continues much in the same vein, with gentle piano arpeggios and horns that herald a plaintive and wistful melody, full of remembrance and retrospection.
The flotsam and jetsam of our memories are washed to shore in the beguiling and seductive tones of Divination. Serene swells and tender tides wash over us in this delicate and tranquil piece of music, which seems to shimmer and cycle like a submerged water-clock, counting time in years rather than in mere moments. Dreamy and charming, the track eventually blossoms into a romantic ballet of strings and voices, both amorous and poignant.
And finally perhaps all too soon, we arrive at the title track The Healing Touch, which beautifully summarises the emotional journey of the album. They say home is where the heart is, and this is truly music of the heart. The music sounds in many ways like the reflection of a life lived in peace and serenity, innocence and wonder, and the heartfelt and nostalgic emotions evident in Clifford’s original Ascension album are proudly revisited and re-experienced in this worthy sequel.