“Seamless” is the perfect title for the eleventh release by solo pianist Christine Brown. In one of the coolest and most unique albums I’ve heard in a while, instrumental renditions of pop cover tunes, both old and new, segue in and out of classical compositions by the great composers. Beethoven intertwines with Led Zeppelin, Adele with Bach, and The Mama’s and Papa’s with The Eagles and Chopin, just to name a few. Christine Brown has taken the popular concept of a “mash-up” to a new level with her imaginative fusions played with impeccable style and grace. While Christine’s previous music has been highly regarded in the new age category, “Seamless” should appeal to a wide audience across a number of genres.
The album opens with an intro featuring the recognizable classical piece "Fur Elise" by Beethoven. Shortly thereafter, it segues oh so smoothly into, what is for me, one of the most epic rock songs ever, “Stairway To Heaven” by Led Zeppelin. Throughout the track, the two melodies intertwine exquisitely and I was so moved by this performance that I almost felt like standing up and applauding at the end. From there we progress into a medley of three well-known pop songs called “The Police Trilogy” featuring ‘’Wrapped Around My Finger,’’ ‘‘Fields of Gold,’’ and ‘‘Every Breath You Take.” I found it fascinating to experience these songs in a different light, purely as melodies without the lyrics and accompaniment, and from a classical perspective. Moving ahead (and back) in time is “Hello Someone” featuring two songs by Adele, “Hello” and “Someone Like You” paired with a piano version of Bach's “Prelude Suite No.1 for Cello.”
A pair of well-loved songs join in “Bridge of Grace” as Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” crosses over into the beautiful hymn, “Amazing Grace.” My second favorite song on the album, after the opening track was “Hotel California Dreaming,” which interweaves The Mamas and The Papas “California Dreaming,” The Eagles’ “Hotel California,” and Chopin’s “Prelude Op. 28 No. 20.” The album’s last track provides a warm nostalgic glow in it’s fusing of Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile” with the classic “Wizard Of Oz” favorite, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” and makes for a perfect ending to an album full of surprises.
While, for someone like myself, a member of the Woodstock generation, hearing the tunes by Led Zeppelin, Simon & Garfunkel, The Eagles, etc. brought back lots of memories, I also appreciated that Christine also drew from more contemporary sources like Adele, Sia, Sam Smith, and others, as well of course as the classical composers such as Beethoven, Chopin, and more – in essence providing something for everybody. The range of this album is astounding and the execution of it is brilliant, highlighting Christine Brown as one of the most imaginative artists in the solo piano genre today. I absolutely love this album and can’t wait to hear Christine’s next round of artistic alchemy.
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