GONZALES, "Solo Piano"
And while the obvious touchstones here are Gershwin and Satie, a keen pop ear can also trace the heavy inspiration from Randy Newman's soundtrack work on compositions like "Gogol" and "Bermuda TriangIt seems like every decade has a style of music they should be embarrassed by, whether it is the '60s and beach blanket pop or the '70s and disco or the '80s and hair metal or the '90s and sensitive frat boy rock. As far as the Oughties go, it looks like electroclash has filled that category with flying, flame-boyant colors, and former Canadian "prankster rapper"/producer "Chilly" Gonzales was right up there with his pal Peaches amongst its most annoying players.
This is why it comes as such a happy shock to spin "Solo Piano," which has been released overseas since 2005 and is now finally getting a stateside debut, and hear something entirely unexpected. Although Gonzales has flexed his skills on the 88 keys on previous collaborations with the likes of Jane Birkin and Manu Chao, "Solo Piano" offers no net other than the former Chilly's aptitude as a pianist.
And while the obvious touchstones here are Gershwin and Satie, a keen pop ear can also trace the heavy inspiration from Randy Newman's soundtrack work on compositions like "Gogol" and "Bermuda Triangle." Even more interesting about these songs is the fact that Gonzales created the themes for left hand accompaniment and right hand melody, asserting that his time studying French impressionism was indeed well spent. -- Ron Hart