STYLE: Ambient/Meditational RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 159184-23487 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD EP ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Brendan O'Regan
Mostly known as the keyboard player for the successful rock worshippers Sonicflood, Robert here offers a six-song EP which, despite the title, features some vocals as well as piano. Too many Christmas piano projects are fairly bland affairs, suitable for background music at seasonal parties and that's about it. Weston gives us something with more oomph. Apart from his effective piano playing there's a tight pop-rock band enhancing the proceedings. The medley that makes up the opening and title track is a useful showcase for the project. "Hark The Herald Angels Sing" starts softly and sweetly with some gentle piano work and finds extra drive when the band joins in, but in a complementary rather than heavy-handed way. A beautiful "O Come O Come Emmanuel" captures a variety of moods and is wedded seamlessly to "Joy To The World". "O Little Town Of Bethlehem (Let the Whole World Sing)" is the odd one out as it's the only vocal track, as much guitar as piano driven. It's the best track on the EP and nearly made the CR playlist. I'd like to hear more of Weston's singing as this is quite an appealing and rootsy performance, both intimate and celebratory. However, I'm not too keen on the "Away In A Manger/It Came Upon A Midnight Clear" combo - it starts with what sounds like a toy piano and morphs into a borderline country and western quickstep! A questionable choice, but at least Weston is doing something different.
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