Piano Works
label: sanctuary
production: craig armstrong
year of release: 2004
website: craigarmstrong.com
1. In My Own Words
2. Heatmiser 2
3. Hidden
4. Gentle Piece
5. Weather Storm
6. Diffuse
7. Leaving Parts
8. Fugue
9. Theme From Orphans
10. 1st Walz
11. Satine's Theme
12. Morning Breaks
13. Laura's Theme
14. Glasgow Love Theme
15. Delay
16. Hymn 3
17. Angelina
18. Childhood 2
19. Sunrise
At times, life is reduced to bare essentials. Time slows down - with or without an understanding of relativity theory . All that's important remains. All that's unnecessary is gone. When one's life is on the line, the body doesn't concern itself with handling a happy meal. When adrenaline surges, the body ceases all unnecessary functions.
Craig Armstrong throws everything overboard. He's the warrior with the bare chest screaming into the enemy's guarded face. Gone is the strings section. Gone is the Pro Tools cheating. Gone is everything but the piano. That's all. Nothing more.
Craig knows how to handle the piano. He utilizes it like Jackie Chan uses a set of stairs, a piece of cloth, or a chair; to beat up his opponent. Craig beats the best chess player with one pawn. That's all. Nothing more.
"Piano Works". That's the name and that's the program. What Craig did was take many songs from his ever growing catalogue - plus a couple of new ones (or tracks this writer doesn't recognize) - strips 'em down to the axiom of the idea. That's all. Nothing more. If his brilliant compositions, (heard in movies like "Moulin Rouge", "The English Patient," and "Plunkett & McLean") are drafted on a piano, then this record shows the baby steps. This album offers the skeleton, the blueprint, the naked.
Craig does little. Much less than on his two albums, his miscellaneous songs or his soundtracks. But what is reduced if you actually gain? One gains clarity, space, and honesty through disclosure. What happens when a song is stepped down to its elements? It's either deep or shallow. It's either Craig or not. His music is rich due to all the cheesy and over the top string arrangements. But on "Piano Works", we see what happens when the rouge and wonderbra are gone. The face is breathtakingly beautiful and the boobs are still oh-my...damn.
review: tadah
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