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Album Review: Winding Down
David Nevue
Cover image of the album Winding Down by David Nevue
Winding Down
David Nevue
2015 / Midnight Rain Productions
68 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Winding Down, David Nevue’s fifteenth solo piano release, is one of his most powerful and personal albums to date. While on an extended break from touring and performing, Nevue found that without the pressures of being on the road and baring his soul at each performance, the creative juices started flowing freely and he composed most of the album’s fifteen tracks over a six-week period. Nevue explains that the album was “inspired” by his growing sense of the shortness of time, with major world events accelerating from crisis to crisis so quickly that we just can’t keep up. “It’s as if our physical realm is caught in a whirlpool, winding down with increasing velocity toward the ‘end of the age’.” He goes on to say “My awareness of this, and of what I know is yet to come, has created a yearning in me. The music on this album is a reflection of that yearning.” Although much of the music is very somber and dark, Nevue’s primary message is of hope and of looking forward to Jesus’ return.

Compositionally, Nevue intentionally included musical surprises in each piece. He also arranged the playing order so that each subsequent piece goes up in key, never down, challenging him to compose in keys he doesn’t often create with. Additionally, “While the overall tone of the album is dark, the music is thoughtful and prayerful. It's what soulful yearning sounds like... music to comfort you in difficult, trying times. This is solo piano music to inspire hope in a crazy, out of control world. The return of Hope grows closer with each passing day.” The album was recorded at Piano Haven Studio on a Shigeru Kawai concert grand, engineered and mastered by Joe Bongiorno.

Winding Down begins with “The Acceleration Of Time,” a piece that grows in intensity as it evolves and is one of my favorites. I’ve always been drawn to Nevue’s more intense music and this piece is no exception. Can’t wait for the sheet music! “Foreshadows” is very distinctively Nevue and also very intense, dark and mysterious. “Clockwork” was born as an improvised duet in concert with pianist/composer Neil Patton and stands as one of my favorite Nevue pieces ever. Patton appears on this recording, too. Bravo, you guys! Be sure to check out the video youtube.com/watch?v=89GXybemUDo. It’s breathtaking! The title track is somewhat less turbulent, but powerful emotions are expressed with a beautifully flowing energy. In “Toward the Inevitable,” Nevue uses the damper pedal to create feelings of vast space and dread (my interpretation). “Under a Cloud” goes even darker and more desolate. With “The Four Winds,” the mood starts to lighten a bit and turns to almost joyful in “New Mercies.” “Our Hope Is Here” becomes peaceful and ethereal, reflecting on passages from the hymn “Fairest Lord Jesus.” “A Thousand Years And After” brings the album to a gentle close without a trace of fear, chaos, or despair.

David Nevue always shares so much of his heart and soul in his music, but I think he did so more than ever in Winding Down. It’s truly an amazing album and I can’t imagine anyone being unmoved by the power and passion of the music. The cover artwork by Matt Streiby is also incredible. Winding Down is available from davidnevue.com, Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!
June 29, 2015