steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Richard Abel

"Romance" CD


Genres: easy listening, classical

Aug 13 - 19 2004

Richard Abel's list of credentials is surely an impressive one - he's played for presidents, sold platinum records, and even been nominated for a Juno Award, the Canadian equivalent to a Grammy (heck, this album was nominated!)  Romance is his latest, highly publicized CD, and this time around he's given love songs a try.  I can't say I'm the biggest fan of classical easy listening music, but this seems like a very well-done, if overly straightforward album.  While Romance doesn't share the sense of irony that characterizes the film of the same name, that can only be expected with this type of light classical pop - it knows what it is, and doesn't try to be anything particularly deep or spectacular.  In these fourteen songs, we get glossy, comforting, and accessible music performed by a spiffy-dressing, likeable pianist.  "Love Theme From Out of Africa" and "With Your Eyes" are simple, technically sound renditions, though they offer nothing new or original.  Only the title-track, a gentle piece of Muzak-inspired lite-pop, is actually Abel's own composition; the rest are standards and French Canadian songs.

I'm not going to join the "Richard Abel Fan Club" (YET...), but I do think this could make a wise purchase for mature listeners in pursuit of some peaceful, relaxing classical music.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 14 tracks, distributed by the artist, released 2004]