Passions George Skaroulis 2013 / Evzone Music 60 minutes
"Passions" is the first album of all new original piano solos by George Skaroulis in many years. George has been one of my favorite artists since I first heard "Second Nature" back in 2003, so I’ve really been looking forward to an album of new music. "Passions" was worth the wait! Skaroulis is not a flashy pianist, but he puts so much heart and deep emotion into his music that he doesn’t need a fistful of notes in each hand to say what he wants to say. His simple, evocative approach has made Skaroulis a favorite among massage therapists and spa owners (as well as the Atlanta Humane Society!), but his music is the perfect antidote to the worries and stresses of the day all by itself. Quiet and peaceful enough to make a cozy backdrop for other activities, there is also plenty to keep the more focused listener enthralled. "Passions" will definitely be one of my favorite albums of 2013.
"Passions" begins with “A New Beginning,” a beautiful piece that conveys feelings of hope and looking forward. The bittersweet melody makes those hopeful feelings all the more promising. “Keep the Faith” could be a new Skaroulis classic with its Greek flavoring and poignant minor key passages - love it! “Hope” is also distinctly Skaroulis with his gently flowing left hand and understated right hand melody made all the more powerful with his expressive playing. I love this one, too! “Journey Within” goes a bit darker and more reflective. The title track begins as a light and swirling dance that quiets to express a different sort of passion. “Yes” is more ambient and free-form - very peaceful and calming. “Open Your Heart” begins and ends with the sound of the ocean and feels like a conversation between close friends. “The Embrace” is another favorite. Very gentle and flowing, yet expressing deep emotions, I find it hypnotic. “Don’t Forget Me” is so simple and so short, but what a powerhouse of emotion! “After the Rain” is a gentle rubato waltz with a heart-tugging poignance. The tender and romantic “When I See You Smile” is a love song overflowing with smoldering passion. At more than six minutes, “Warm Soul” is by far the longest track of the nineteen, and what a beauty it is! Very free and in the moment, it is an artist alone at his piano, baring his soul - one of Skaroulis’ best to date! "Passions" comes to a beautiful close with “Love Is Always the Answer,” a dreamy song that needs no lyrics to make its point.
If you are a longtime George Skaroulis fan like me, you will love his latest creation. If you are new to his music, this is an excellent place to start. "Passions" is available from www.GeorgeSkaroulis.com, Amazon, and iTunes. I give it my highest recommendation!