The Ritz Herald
© Juan Sánchez "Now the Silence" album art

Album Review: Juan Sánchez – Now the Silence

Published on October 16, 2020

With a wealth of experience behind him and an expansive repertoire that has seen the release of a couple of successful albums, ambient piano artist Juan Sánchez is now gearing up to present his latest album, the pandemic-inspired ‘Now The Silence’, to the public.

Possessing the rare ability to make people, laugh, cry, feel solemn or joyful at the masterful stroke of his piano keys, it’s no wonder that Sánchez’s new album is as good as it is. But Sánchez wasn’t always like this – he took up piano lessons at the age of 14 years old and throughout the 80s and 90s, lent his skill to several different bands. Since then, Juan began to be drawn to softer, more atmospheric music and started to compose pieces for music producers that would go into their sound libraries. Even though Sánchez has been an active part of the piano music scene for quite some time, it wasn’t until 2019 that he took the leap and released his critically acclaimed debut single, ‘Rebirth’ – and he hasn’t looked back since. Finding himself alone in lockdown, Sánchez sat on his piano and did what he usually does best. Moved by the ongoing pandemic, he began to wisely spend his time crafting a new album.

Juan Sánchez’s music is only a sonic experience that very few could try to recreate. He manages to paint a picture and tells a thousand words, all through the poignancy and stillness of his piano. An ambient cross of Richard Clayderman, Enya and something you might hear in a Lord of The Rings film, the tracks on ‘Now The Silence’ sit at a beautiful crossroads between the awe of Sánchez’s instrumental skills and artistic storytelling. Yes – in an album that doesn’t have any spoken words, listeners can still feel a vivid story being told through Sánchez’s lens. A true musical journey from start to finish, ‘Now the Silence’ is chilling, haunting, peaceful, relaxing and ethereal all at the same time.  

Diving straight into the album’s highlights, the first cut of this 12-track project, ‘Very Young Old Man’ sounds like an instant classic – remnants of classical influences are thrown in, but given a new aged, neo-adult contemporary twist. Combining the deep, low tones and softer, more agile high tones, Sánchez employs a delay technique that makes the melancholy piano reverberate through your ears with a meaningful curiosity. The track isn’t quite sad, rather, it sounds like a tragic adventure that someone’s gone through, but survived. What’s profound about this album is that Sánchez’s musical choices don’t remain stagnant. Even in an all-piano album, his experimental DNA can be found in all of these tracks. Triumphant and spiritual, calm and reflective – the album’s fifth track, ‘Woolgathering’, uses a few different sounds than the other tracks, utilizing a more electric piano-type sonic aesthetic. Then, in the next track, ‘Tolworth’, we’re immediately blessed by beautiful, otherworldly background vocals, emanating a sparkly, fairytale setting that harkens back to the days of an innocent childhood. In ‘Luz de Luna’, Sánchez’s piano tones flirt with stunning, simmering strings, swelling all the way until about 2-and-a-half-minutes in, where the song beautifully climaxes into a dazzling collision of sounds.

The album’s eighth track, ‘Remembrance’ is a must-listen. Slightly more bombastic and audacious than the album’s other songs, ‘Remembrance’ sounds like an inspiring, anthemic march for freedom. Like a soldier victoriously coming back from war, this track is moving for all the right reasons. Finally, the closer, ‘Blue Nights’ is possibly the album’s magnum opus. Like a soprano showing off the most vulnerable parts of its voice, the strings here aptly fill up the part of a vocalist to deliver a musical masterpiece. Of course, Sánchez’s piano is the much-needed icing on top of a great track.

What ‘Now The Silence’ shows is that there is beauty in the stillness. In a year where we’ve seen so much noise and commotion, Juan Sánchez’s latest effort brings it right back to the music. Simply, the music. Listeners will be able to experience the intimacy and intricacy of his compositions – from the full sounds of the instruments, to the nostalgic emotions being evoked on each track. For classical or neo-classical fans, this album will be a welcomed addition to your playlists. But beyond that, the album’s adult contemporary and easy listening qualities also make it the perfect listen for working or studying, reading a book, meditating or just lounging around at home.

While Sánchez’s first release, ‘Rebirth’, was titled that way because of his newfound motivations, passion and developments as a person and musician, ‘Now The Silence’ is an album that’s about “the importance of solitude and quiet time”. Created and curated in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the developments of the year, it centres around the significance of self-reflection, taking time out for yourself and emotional healing. In tranquillity and peace, there’s innate power – and that’s exactly what Juan Sánchez’s new album, ‘Now The Silence’, illustrates. A comprehensively powerful and moving listen, ‘Now The Silence’ is a highly recommended listen, and is available everywhere now.

Listen to Juan Sánchez’s brand new album ‘Now The Silence’ on his website:

Senior Writer