Posts Tagged ‘piano’

Julia Wade is a singer that has spent time singing both classical and popular songs. Taking time to learn the two different musical mindsets allows Wade’s music to reach a wider audience. Having already created a library of CDs, Julia Wade has just created a new album to expand that library. The newest CD from Julia Wade is entitled Solos; Solos features 12 songs that were written around prose from Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy.

When creating an album, the first thing that needs to happen is choosing the right person or people to help you make the album the way you want it. For Julia Wade, the person who helped create the album of Solos is Peter Link. Peter link has long list of releases that include Broadway compositions as well as inspirational albums. When partnered up with Julia Wade for the Solos, the two artists create a beautiful and moving release that is also inspirational.

The Solos album begins with the song “Beauty”. The first song of the album is a quiet and comforting song about the beauty of all things in life. Julia Wade’s voice blends well with the soft organ music from Peter Link.

For the second track of the release entitled “Today,” the song begins with Link taking a jazzier approach to the music on this piece. The lyrics from Mary Baker Eddy about taking the chance that today gives you to start over are sung by Julia Wade with the same type of jazzy feel that Link’s music has. The music, lyrics and vocals on this song seem to have the effect to make you feel the positive vibe the lyrics contain.

With the song of “Mind’s Camera,” Mary Baker Eddy’s words of accepting what is real in both reality and in religious ideas are sung by Julia Wade with conviction and the same can be said about the playing of Peter Link on the piano. The resulting track is once again full of beauty as the singer and pianist intertwine as if they are one.

While the lyrics of the new album from Julia Wade come from Christian Science Mary Baker Eddy, the song “One” takes on a more educational feel. In fact, the prose that makes up “One” makes the song feel as odd as the songs that used to be played in elementary school science classes. Moreover, “One” may even bring to mind other “educational” takes on science such as the remake of the song “Why Does the Sun Shine?” that was made popular by the band They Might be Giants.

With the next song of “Divine Love,” Julia Wade sings a song that feels more like a Contemporary Christian song. And while there is the ever-present Christian Science thought process running through the song, the listener can truly enjoy a beautiful song about love.

One of the coolest tracks on the release is the song “The Sculptor”. The words about being the ones to “shape” what you see around you are matched well with music by Peter Link that has a slight funky feel to it. While most of the songs on Solos are “easy listening” songs, “The Sculptor” has more of a groove to it than most of the album.

The song “Creation” takes the listener through just a short trip through some of the main ideas that make up the basis of the Christian Science faith. The ideas of “creation” and “The Creator” are well-represented in this beautifully sung track.

The prose from Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy fills the tracks that make up the album Solos from Julia Wade. Even though many may find the lyrics a bit unusual at times, the songs themselves are strong and beautiful. And while the religious views of the Christian Science religion fill the album, it is the voice of Julia Wade and the piano playing of Peter link that really shine through. With each track of the album, the listener understands why Julia Wade and Peter link came together to create this album of beautiful vocals, well-composed music and thought-provoking words. Religious concepts aside, the easy listening, relaxing feel of the songs contained within the Solos album from Julia Wade make for a release that many will enjoy.

Click HERE for the video to “Beauty” by Julia Wade

You might recognize Jeremy Schonfeld from his role as “Daniel” from the film Clear Blue Tuesday, the film revolving around several people who just had their lives ripped apart because of 9/11. After taking on such a powerful role as the one he played in that powerful movie, it was natural for Schonfeld to want to explore his own family and where he came from. This is where his new album of Iron & Coal came from.

A lot of people refer to making an album as a “project”. For Jeremy Schonfeld, that is just what Iron & Coal is. The singer/piano player created this album that centers on his feelings for those relatives who survived the holocaust in World War II. Each of the songs on the release helps promote his own thoughts about the experiences of his family members. This album feels very personal as you listen to the 13 tracks that help create the release.

The Iron & Coal release begins with the “Mourner’s Kaddish”. The track brings a little of the feeling of sorrow and remembrance to the release. The piano-based track is very powerful and beautiful. This particular track is a very powerful lead-in for the rest of the album that is a very personal recording, as the song is a message from a son to his father.

“Dead Beat Heart” picks up the pace and adds more energy to the new release from Jeremy Schonfeld. The upbeat tempo of the song helps downplay the slightly pessimistic lyrics that go along with the memories of days gone by.

On “Good Stuff,” Schonfeld creates the first real moment on the release where you really get to experience the power in his voice. The song is also the first moment where the listener gets to enjoy some real strong rock and roll. With the playing of the musicians, the power of the music and the positive message of the lyrics, “Good Stuff” is easily the best and most commercial track on the release.

“Save Me” is another track that contains a very strong rock approach in the music. That feeling is a good match for the lyrics. The words of the song are interesting to listen to, as they have two different interpretations at once: The singer wants to be saved from the actual people running after him AND the nightmares of those actions left over years later after the situation was over. The strong music really reinforces the feeling one gets from a nightmare.

“Yedid Nefesh – Good Man” changes the feel of the release. The song about doubting one’s self because of someone else’s actions goes from a classical feel with a chorus and strings to a song with a slightly jazzy feel as the song changes directions and languages.

Schonfeld pairs the classical and jazzy approaches of “Yedid Nefesh – Good Man” with the stronger feel of the “Bad Man,” the next track of the album. The song “Bad Man” continues the self-doubt from the previous track but kicks up the energy level with more of a rock and roll feel to the music of this track.

One of the emotional tracks on Iron & Coal from Jeremy Schonfeld is the song “If Only”. The music features not only Schonfeld’s piano but also a very powerful orchestration that helps add a lot of beauty to a release that already contains a lot of pain and suffering. The beauty in the music and words for “If Only” is a nice change from the pain that Schonfeld had been expressing in the tracks that had come before.

The title track from Jeremy Schonfeld’s new album, “Iron and Coal – I Gotta Song,” is one of the best tracks on the release. The quiet prayer for a better life builds to a climax that features Schonfeld letting loose while stretching his vocal cords and showing the strength of his voice. The bells and strings at the end of the track bring a little more beauty to this release.

From the family history of Jeremy Schonfeld to his talent as a singer, piano player and songwriter, there are many different aspects to this release. Whatever it is that attracts you to this solid release, there is much to see and hear that will keep your attention and keep you entertained.

***** (out of five stars)