2022 / Adrian Webster
Review by Kathy Parsons
Piano Perspectives is the fourth piano album from UK composer and pianist CrusaderBeach (aka Adrian Webster). The ten beautiful piano solos are all original compositions and include several recently-released singles. Composed in a calming, reflective, neo-classical style, the music is warmly expressive and inviting, providing a haven of quiet beauty and peace - and who couldn't use some more of that? I first heard CrusaderBeach's music when Adrian sent me his "Bittersweet" single for review a couple of years ago. I loved it, so getting a full album of his music is a real treat!
A self-taught pianist/composer from an early age, Adrian had an upright piano in his bedroom when he was growing up and considered it to be a favorite toy. Quoting Adrian: “I have no formal musical training, in fact I can’t even read or write music notation, so these compositions very much represent piano music from my own viewpoint - hence the album title Piano Perspectives.” This is also reflected in the artwork for the album and singles, which features close-up photos of the inner-workings of a piano.
If you aren't familiar with CrusaderBeach, the story behind the name is an interesting one. Adrian Webster grew up near the sea in Blackpool and would often enjoy a stretch of shoreline called Crusader Bank, which was named for a ship called Crusader that was wrecked on the sandbank during storms of 1839. Quoting Adrian: “For me, this serene location was a great place for creative inspiration. So when I was choosing a name for my music profile, CrusaderBeach immediately came to mind. When you listen to my piano music, I hope it takes you to a place that’s personal to you."
Piano Perspectives begins with "Nightfalling," a dreamy, somewhat melancholy piece that sets the tranquil tone of the album. "Bittersweet" is a poignant and graceful solo piano waltz and was the first CrusaderBeach music I heard. I love it! "Crystallize" and "Afterglow" are somewhat more ambient with repeating phrases and changing chord progressions that keep them both fascinating and fresh. "Valse de Lune" ("Moon Waltz") invites images of a couple dancing in the moonlight to music only they can hear. "River Drift" picks up the tempo a bit, emulating the movement of flowing water and light sparkling on the ripples. More somber and reflective on the theme of loss, "Angels Dream" offers hope and solace with its quiet, soothing beauty. The sweetly joyful "Love Letters" floats gently on the air - dancing on sunshine! "Open Road" expresses the excitement of hitting the road and getting away from it all! Whoo-hoo! Let's go! "Hearts Cascade" is a slower and softer reworking of an earlier piece. Gentle yet passionate, it's the perfect ending to a really great album!
With more than 11.9 million YouTube views, 2.9 million Spotify streams and sheet music sales in more than 50 countries, CrusaderBeach's music is no longer a well-kept secret! I really love his music and look forward to hearing a whole lot more! Piano Perspectives is available from Amazon, Apple Music/iTunes and many streaming sites including Spotify. Highly recommended!
September 18, 2022