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From MainlyPiano.com

  • Feb 19, 2014
Rating:
+5

Storybook Love: A Pianist Perspective
Laura McMillan
2014 / Perhaps Piano Records
56 minutes

"Storybook Love" is Laura McMillan’s third solo piano release following "Without Words" (2009) and"Linger Longer" (2012). One World Music named "Linger Longer" “Album of the Year” by and McMillan was awarded “Artist of the Year” for 2012. Describing the origins of her new album, McMillan says, “It’s a dream we all have, male and female.... Whether you are in love right now or in the middle of the search, I hope this music can serve as a backdrop of joy and excitement.” 

A prominent piano teacher in the Portland, Oregon area, McMillan has been playing classical music all of her life and has been especially influenced by the music of Chopin. In her original compositions, she blends traditional classical piano elements and a strong appreciation for Broadway music with new age and neo-classical motifs to create her own sound. Sometimes cool and soothing and other times more fiery and energetic, McMillan’s albums provide a variety of moods and styles bound together by a common theme. “Each track on the album Storybook Love is meant to spotlight one of the many moments of love -- dreaming about it, looking for it, finding it and living happily ever after.”

"Storybook Love" begins with “The Way It Goes,” a piece comprised of several themes that alternate between sweetly dreamy and a high-energy happy dance. “For Our Children” is very soft and gentle and seems to be a tribute to the innocence of childhood itself. “Playground Memories” is light and playful, building to a much bigger, more dynamic theme, and then alternating themes. The graceful “Hard To Say Goodbye” is a poignant ballad that expresses the pain of having to let go - a favorite. “Porch Swing” has the lazy pace of a summer evening spent enjoying the magic of just being together. Very slow and expressive, I really like this one, too. “Transitions” is all about changes and the music reflects on the ups and downs of relationships by varying rhythms, moods, and dynamics - an especially effective piece. “What Might Have Been” conveys the hurt and disappointment of a relationship that falls apart. “Lavender Roses” is as soft and delicate as the title implies - very graceful. The album ends with the title track - my favorite of the fourteen. Expressing the deepest and most powerful kind of love, the simple but poignant melody touches and warms the heart. There is a “official” video with this piece on YouTube and McMillan’s website that adds even more meaning to the song.

Need a romantic lift? "Storybook Love" could be exactly what you’re looking for! It is available from LauraMcMillanPiano.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Recommended!

Kathy Parsons
MainlyPiano.com

2/18/14

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February 22
Excellent, I like Chopin too.
February 22
 
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About the reviewer
Kathy Parsons ()
Ranked #61
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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