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Album Review: Rain
Joshua Rich
Cover image of the album Rain by Joshua Rich
Joshua Rich
2009 / Joshua Rich
48 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Rain is a beautiful collection of eleven original piano solos by Joshua Rich. Also a songwriter and performer, Rich’s instrumental music tells stories without words in a variety of musical styles that range from smooth ballads to upbeat jazz. Although the rhythms and styles vary, the messages in all of these songs are warm and positive and provide a relaxing and uplifting musical experience. Rich is a self-taught musician who began his musical career in San Francisco and Los Angeles and is now residing in Washington, DC.

Rain begins with “Sunrise,” a gentle and graceful piece of musical poetry that starts very quietly and becomes more dramatic as it builds. “Kelsey” overflows with innocence and sweetness; my instincts suggest that it was composed for a cherished little girl. “Recollection” is a lovely daydream, reliving one of life’s bright and happy moments. I really like “Noah Knows,” a piece that reassures and comforts as it tells its story. The piano seems to be the ideal instrument for depicting rain and its many moods and intensities. Rich’s portrait begins with a quiet rain that brings refreshment and new life as raindrops dance from the sky. The rainfall becomes heavier and more dramatic and then gracefully tapers off. I really like this one, too! “Baby’s Kicking” is pure joy composed in an effervescent blues style that brings smiles every time! “Waterfall” begins as a wonderful depiction of water flowing downward, splashing on rocks, and sending out sparkles of water droplets into the air. The piece then has the freedom and spontaneity of an improvisation, perhaps telling the story of the water’s travels. Love it! “Sunset” ends the album at the opposite end of the day that it started. It, too, begins quietly and becomes more dramatic as it develops, but there is a more restful feeling to “Sunset” where “Sunrise” expresses anticipation. As the sky darkens, the piece becomes more still, trailing off at the end - a gorgeous and very fitting closing to a great album!

Rain is available from joshuarich.com, iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby. Recommended!
May 18, 2010