Projekt was kind enough to send me a review copy of this (I've reviewed Steve's last 3-4 releases on that label, I think) and I am now listening to disc 1...and I have what may be a controversial opinion.
What with the nature sounds, the warm melodicism, the twinkling bell tones that comprise most of this first disc...I can think of more than a few new age music CDs that sound like this. Granted, Steve is operating in a more minimalist vein here than some of the more syrupy n.a. artists, but still...it's not a stretch by any means to call this first disc "classic" new age music. I know I am the resident (here and elsewhere) defender of new age music, and maybe disc 2 and 3 see Steve go in a decidedly different direction, but the warmth and "positivity" in this music (which I find immensely appealing and satisfying) makes me wonder if some "hard core" ambientphiles wouldn't enjoy some new age music that comes mighty close to this classic album.
Just my musings...not looking for anything approaching an argument. Feel free to disagree...but I KNOW there are some folks who are ambient fans who also LOATHE nature sounds set against music (it's one of their frequent bitches about the new age genre) and if you are one of them, avoid this CD (or at least disc 1) 'cause it has bird song and flowing water aplenty!
BTW, the CD (so far) is gorgeous...like taking a walk through a forest alongside a brook with sunlight peaking through the canopy of trees now and then...you can really float away with this music.