Kevin Kern's fourth album continues his legacy of soothing, uplifting piano-based pieces. There are no harsh notes or chords, and this collection of warm, feel-good melodies works well in either the foreground or as a backdrop for other activities. As he said in the interview we did (in this issue), Kevin composes most of his music with the idea in mind that it will be used as a background experience, keeping the pieces from being too challenging or intricate, and yet his mastery of this field also keeps the pieces from becoming trite or too minimalist. For the first time, Kevin has included arrangements of two pop songs. The CD opens with Elton John's "We All Fall in Love Sometime", a bittersweet tune that alternates between major and minor modes; it closes with The Beatles' "In My Life" - simple, sweet, and heartfelt. There is a strong Irish influence running through many of the songs, and "Emerald Legacy", a tribute to Kevin's father's Irish tenor, will have you softly singing "too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ra". Kevin has a tradition of composing at least one track on his albums spontaneously in the studio - this time it's "Twirling In Time" - a happy-go-lucky piano solo. That and "Passages" are my favorite tracks. "Passages" includes Thalia Moore on cello and Jeremy Cohen on violin, rounding out a lovely trio with Kevin's piano work.
The whole album is full of sunshine, and each piece has the glow of a warm smile. If you are into dark, heavy music, this is definitely not for you! If you love the soothing qualities of gentle flowing melodies on the piano, run down to the record store and pick this one up!
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About the reviewer
Kathy Parsons (kathypiano)
I have been a private piano teacher since 1981. I have been writing reviews for a long time, and have my own review and interview site, MainlyPiano.com. I teach piano in person and online, so now I can … more
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In My Life, Real Music's fourth release from this well-loved pianist, offers a further palette of exquisite melodies played with Kern's graceful, accomplished touch. It also marks a departure into a new realm where Kern expands his dynamic range. Included on this album are two gorgeous arrangements of Elton John and Lennon/McCartney songs.
In My Life strikes a beautiful balance of songs to comfort the heart and uplift the spirit.