If you take the music of Craig Armstrong and strip away
all the beats and synthesizers, you are left with something magical.
Piano Works is a collection of new compositions, as well
as selections from Armstrong's work with Massive Attack,
and also songs that he has composed for film scores. But the magic
lies in the simplicity of this music. Solo piano. Nothing to interfere
with the beauty of the song, itself. And for me, that is a wonderful
thing. I'm a much bigger fan of listening to solo piano Mozart
compositions than I am his orchestral or choral works. To my ears,
there is something divinely mystical in the sound of a piano,
sitting in the middle of a room, filling it with wonderful melodies
and immensely simple reverbs.
And so, Piano Works is. The album begins with the moody
strains of "In My Own Words", which is a perfect song
to start this collection. The songs are oftentimes melancholy,
but like good classical music, there are subtle shifts that transport
the soul of the listener to lighter clouds on a whim, and then
drop them suddenly back to corporeal reality. It's as near perfection
as any modern classical music has ever been. The re-working of
"Glasgow Love Theme" from Love, Actually is brilliant,
and is a perfect example of the power of the solo piano to create
more mood than an entire orchestra. "Sunrise" is treated
with a few sparse electronics (which traces of can be found on
a few other songs), which add to the overall tension and elevate
the song to even greater heights of emotional impact.
Overall, Piano Works is a wonderful, musically poetic
journey, filled with emotion and vibrant compositions. In addition
to being a wonderful record, it is the soundtrack to a film of
the same name; which is, as far as I can tell, a documentation
of the time in Paris spent recording this Piano Works record.
It's a nice idea, and there is a trailer for the film included
on the cd
Well worth the watching, as there are some amazing
scenes from Paris, as well as some nice footage of Armstrong playing
If you are a fan of Massive Attack, you should have this record.
If you dig classical music, you should have this record. If
you dig soundtracks, you should have this record. Really, everyone
should have this record.
1. In My Own Words
2. Heatmiser 2
4. Gentle Piece
5. Weather Storm
7. Leaving Paris
9. Theme From Orphans
10. 1st Waltz
11. Satine's Theme
12. Morning Breaks
13. Laura's Theme
14. Glasgow Love Theme
16. Hymn 3
18. Childhood 2
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