After coming into O’Halloran’s work after listening to different rock and metal CDs, I Have to say that this is a sea change. Even calling this album that is still something of an understatement. What O’Halloran does here is create classical influenced but modern piano solos, of the quality one would expect foor a movie or television shows.
Where individuals that are used to lyrical content in music may be skeptical about the emotional content of O’Halloran’s piano solos, the simple fact is that the tempo, the way in which the keys are struck, and the overall arrangement of these solo imbue each of the track with more emotion than the most angsty emo teen. Each of the tracks are long enough in this album for O’Halloran to tell a short story, but the payoff of the disc is that each of the tracks feed into each other much like chapters in a book. This is not an album to simply do chores to, or not give 100% of your attention to. Rather, with Piano Solos Vol. 2”, individuals should get a comfortable chair and a glass of wine. Doing that, just sit back and let the music wash over you for the fifty minutes that O’Halloran has so graciously blessed us with on this album.
There are as many allusions to the nineteenth century (what sounds to be Parisian lounge music) as much as there are to the modern (fifties) era of piano releases. The timeless nature of O’Halloran’s compositions should be the determining force that will make “Piano Solos Vol 2” fly off the shelves. There is little else besides the number of the compositions to determine the motive or inspiration for O’Halloran. In much the same way, there is no information on the inside of the CD’s case to explain what brought all of these tracks together, or what O’Halloran was going through at the time that this CD was being created. The tracks may have a lot of narrative and explanatory power behind them, but the one thing they cannot fully imbue on their listeners is a reason why O’Halloran crafted the track the way ey did for this disc. Still, I want to hear more of the sweet movements of O’Halloran’s mind; let us see volumes three through six in the next five years, please? Thanks for something so tender and beautiful.
Top Tracks: Opus 20, Opus 38
Dustin O’Halloran – Piano Solos Vol 2 / 2006 Filter / 11 Tracks / http://www.dustinohalloran.com / http://www.filterusrecordings.com / Reviewed 11 October 2006