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Waterscapes

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Album Review

The third album by solo pianist Theo Bishop adds some fairly subtle electronics (both purely atmospheric, and on tracks like "Tall Ships" and the really quite lovely "Water Dance," mimicking the sound of acoustic instruments) to his sound, simultaneously enriching his tonal palette but also taking him several steps closer to generic new age pabulum. However, Bishop's take on solo instrumental music doesn't skimp on the melodic content, which means that most of these 12 tracks, despite the fairly anonymous arrangements, are more memorable than most of what's produced in this genre. Besides the aforementioned "Water Dance," both "Diamond Pond" and "Ice Sculpture" are instrumental program music of a high grade, evoking senses of the scenes suggested by their titles while staying on the right side of drippy sentimentality or amorphous new age mush. The album's one real flaw is a treacly cover of Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On." Despite the fact that an instrumental piano rendition reveals that without the French-Canadian singer's chest-beating histrionics, it's not really much of a song, isn't putting the theme to a movie about a giant shipwreck on an album called Waterscapes kinda...well, tacky?

Waterscapes, Colors of the Land
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