In My Life
1999 / Real Music
Review by Kathy Parsons
Kevin Kern’s fourth album continues his legacy of soothing, uplifting piano-based pieces. There are no harsh notes or chords, and this collection of warm, feel-good melodies works well in either the foreground or as a backdrop for other activities. As he said in the interview we did (in this issue), Kevin composes most of his music with the idea in mind that it will be used as a background experience, keeping the pieces from being too challenging or intricate, and yet his mastery of this field also keeps the pieces from becoming trite or too minimalist. For the first time, Kevin has included arrangements of two pop songs. The CD opens with Elton John’s “We All Fall in Love Sometime”, a bittersweet tune that alternates between major and minor modes; it closes with The Beatles’ “In My Life” - simple, sweet, and heartfelt. There is a strong Irish influence running through many of the songs, and “Emerald Legacy”, a tribute to Kevin’s father’s Irish tenor, will have you softly singing ”too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ra”. Kevin has a tradition of composing at least one track on his albums spontaneously in the studio - this time it’s “Twirling In Time” - a happy-go-lucky piano solo. That and “Passages” are my favorite tracks. “Passages” includes Thalia Moore on cello and Jeremy Cohen on violin, rounding out a lovely trio with Kevin’s piano work.
The whole album is full of sunshine, and each piece has the glow of a warm smile. If you are into dark, heavy music, this is definitely not for you! If you love the soothing qualities of gentle flowing melodies on the piano, run down to the record store and pick this one up!
September 9, 1999