Wednesday, July 11, 2007

CD Review: Christopher O'Riley "Home to Oblivion"

When a guy whose music you really like, like Elliott Smith, dies, you try to find everything you can find by him. This CD from 2006 is a "tribute" to Elliott Smith-- it is many of his songs interpreted on solo piano, by this guy, O'Riley, who obviously loved Elliott Smith music. I suppose it is pretty beautiful, and somewhat disturbing. But somehow, I don't care.

I suppose the ideal way to hear this record is to not be familiar with Elliott Smith songs, and to just hear this as solo piano music, oblivious to where the compositions came from. You might grow to love it. At least, over time, you would know it. Then you discover the Elliott Smith versions. That could be an amazing experience! But it's not going to happen for me.

Maybe I'm just mad because this guy can play the piano and I can't. Or maybe I just had one too many broken tortellini and weak espresso in the hot, smoky winds of this town where Elliott Smith's ghost has escaped from, but I'm back, like Jay Leno's most pathetic guest.

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