"Soul Rekindled" is the latest album by Contemporary pianist Richard Carr of St. Louis MO. The album is his first non-holiday release of original piano compositions and improvisations in ten years, and it's well worth the wait. The tagline for the album is "music to get lost in," and Richard's vision in regard to this is very clear. The recording is a smorgasbord of musical textures and harmonies, blending together in an ebb and flow that challenges the listener to pay attention, which really goes against the whole idea of the album itself. "Soul Rekindled" is a single piece of art, made up of various music collections which work together to help create it. My favorite tracks on the album are numbers two, five and ten.
Track two, "Embracing Change," is set in a minor key which balances the elusive melody of the piece. Dark and haunting, this piece reminds of something one might hear set to the background of a good murder mystery. The song reflects beautifully how difficult it can be to accept change, and the struggle that accompanies this process.
Track five, "Forgiveness," is a similar piece of work, and it fits in perfectly with the feel of the album as a whole. Somewhat dark and moody, this piece takes liberties with it's flow and tempo to suggest the difficult act of letting go. The use of midrange and high register on the piano create a melancholy effect that's very light in it's feel, contrasting the darkness of the minor key. It's a lovely piece of work, and Richard really does a fantastic job of using each hand to tell a story.
Track ten is very different from either of the above. "Idaho" is a song that will take you to a place that is rich in scenery; green, hilly, rugged and beautiful. One can almost feel the crisp, fresh air blowing on their skin when listening to this track. In one word, it's a "refreshing" piece that by it's end will bring you back to where you started. Home. A perfect ending to a journey of the soul.
I've listened to many of Richard's recordings and I have to say that "Soul Rekindled" is truly some of his best work. Clearly the passage of time has made its way into the soul of Richard Carr himself, and come into the world through the medium of the piano in this recording. I would suggest it to just about anyone who likes listening to piano music as a means to relax, and to "get lost in." And unlike many of Richard's previous releases, "Fogland" and "American Quixote" particularly, this album doesn't require a lot of concentrated listening effort. It's much more accessible than that, and I think it appeals to a much wider range of listeners for that reason. So have a listen, I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Who knows, you might find your "soul rekindled" as you journey with Richard through these dynamic soundscapes.
You can purchase "Soul Rekindled" through Richard's website, at www.richardcarr.com. The recording can also be found at Amazon, ITunes, and CDBaby!