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Album Review: Let's Be Romantic
Gordon Murray
Cover image of the album Let's Be Romantic by Gordon Murray
Let's Be Romantic
Gordon Murray
2005 / Gordon Murray
66 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Let's Be Romantic is Canadian pianist Gordon Murray’s first CD, and is a beautiful collection of fourteen love songs, most of which were hits in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s and went on to become pop classics. Murray wraps these gems in classical solo piano elegance and gives them a loving, romantic warmth well-suited to candlelight dinners and cozy evenings by a fire (with or without a loved one to share with!). A lot of albums like this can be cloying with a multitude of glissandos, trills, and fancy finger work that detract from the melodies, but Murray’s playing is full of grace and emotion, letting the melodies sing over a flowing, arpeggiated accompaniment in the left hand. It is the left hand patterns that tie the songs together and give the album a consistent mood from start to finish.

The album begins with a lovely, flowing arrangement of “The Way You Look Tonight,” which is an older standard, but reminds me of the classy vocal recording by The Lettermen in the early 60’s, I believe. Next comes the BeeGee’s classic, “How Deep Is Your Love?” - a dreamy arrangement that floats on a cloud. “Moon River” has always been one of my favorite pop songs, and this version doesn’t disappoint. The sweetly sentimental melody is carried effortlessly by the flow of the left hand. I also really like “Somewhere” from “West Side Story.” The sense of longing is palpable, as is the feeling of hope. What would a collection of love songs be without “Unchained Melody”? Again, Murray’s interpretation of this song feels just right. I can almost picture Bobby Hatfield singing along, giving it his all. Boz Scaggs’ “We’re All Alone” has a happy feeling of anticipation. “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” is more subdued and melancholy, and this arrangement is gorgeous. “Let It Be Me” is a song I haven’t heard for awhile, but it fits right in, and I like it a lot better without the lyrics! Other titles include “If,” “Endless Love,” “You Are So Beautiful,” and “Looking Through the Eyes of Love” (the theme from “Ice Castles”).

If you are looking for a collection of familiar love songs that is soothing, elegant, and very romantic, check this one out. It is available from cdbaby.com.
October 27, 2005