Boomkat Product Review:
'Best Of' albums can be a little off-putting to the 'serious' music fans out there, so it's nice that solo piano maestro Dustin O'Halloran has done something a little different for his own entry into the shark pool. 'Vorleben' (which means 'past life' in German) is also live album of sorts, but finds O'Halloran only performing material from his hallowed early albums 'Piano Solos 1' and 'Piano Solos 2'. Recorded by Nils Frahm who's not too shabby on the ivories himself, these tracks take on a new life in the live environment, and they shimmer and echo through the Grunewald church in Berlin. A church seems like the obvious place to hear such affecting, melancholy music and the setting gives the album a certain sacred resonance it might have lacked if it had been performed elsewhere. Fans of O'Halloran will no doubt already familiar with some of the pieces, and those of you quick off the mark may have grabbed the super limited Sonic Pieces edition of this record last year, but this is timeless music destined to appeal to anyone with a sensitive ear for haunting solo piano compositions. The measured intensity of O'Halloran's work is what brought eager listeners into the fold on the release of 'Lumiere' earlier this year, and I can't think of a much better way for new fans to get a lid on his incredible back catalogue. Fans of the aforementioned Nils Frahm, Deaf Center or Goldmund need look no further for their solo piano fix - 'Vorleben' is good for what ails ya.