Album Review: Michael Whalen, Sacred Spaces

Emmy-award winning composer Michael Whalen paints in watercolors on the sonic tapestry that is his latest record, Sacred Spaces. A formidable jazz musician, pianist, and composer, the man of 1,000 commercials (well, really, around 3,000) and television credits ranging from Oprah to Inside Edition to Nova delivers ten gorgeous compositions that blur the lines between Jean-Michel Jarre and Vangelis.

Michael Whalen, Sacred Spaces
Genre: New Age, Ambient
Production & Engineering:
Overall Rating:


Unquestionably, Sacred Spaces should be the soundtrack for any trendy yoga studio or luxury spa, but any place you want to experience peace and tranquility is a suitable environment for this aural ecstasy. It’s not just about the songs, but the sound. The sound! Whalen is a master sound designer of the highest caliber, and he created hundreds of incredible new sounds and textures specifically for the making of this record.

Whether you’re a synth player, a sound designer, or you simply like to ingest unknown substances from the jungle and submerge yourself in sensory deprivation tanks like William Hurt, Sacred Spaces envelops you in a warm blanket of ethereal goodness. There’s no one song to specifically single out, but we love the juxtaposition of digital sparkles and chimes against warm analog pads while acoustic piano melodies and dark chamber strings weave their way in and out (ironically, listening to the aptly titled song, “In Between,” as that description came to mind).

Whalen could have taken this album in many other directions, and it’s not until you’ve been through numerous listens that you realize you’ve been captivated by the lush textures and percolating rhythms with barely any electronic percussion, and then, Oh Shit! You just drove right past your freeway exit, hypnotized by the angelic soundtrack. Crank this in your car, avoid road rage, and enjoy your otherwise mind-numbing commute. Or pump it through your whole-home speaker system and enjoy the tranquility and bliss that Sacred Spaces delivers.

Check out our interview with Michael Whalen here!

Pre-order Michael's new release, Sacred Spaces, here: