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Album Review: And Then Came Love
Stephen Peppos
Cover image of the album And Then Came Love by Stephen Peppos
And Then Came Love
Stephen Peppos
2020 / Sonic Bear Music
46 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Musical exploration of the subject of love is nothing new, but Stephen Peppos gives it a fresh take with beauty and heartfelt sincerity flowing from every note. And Then Came Love is Peppos’ eighth and most piano-centered album to date, much of it solo piano. Sometimes melodic and sometimes more ambient, this is some of Peppos’ best music yet! A few of the fourteen original tracks have keyboard enhancements or effects, but most of the album is solo piano. Even the cover artwork (by Barbara Peppos) is special, with a drawing of a piano on the front and back covers that has “Thank You Mom” on the fall-board (where the brand name of the piano usually goes). This refers to the fact that Peppos’ mother bought him a spinet piano when he was five instead of the drum set he really wanted. (Thank you, Mrs. Peppos!) Not all of the music is bright and spritely - some is actually on the darker side - reflecting the true nature of the ups and downs of love and of life itself.

An award-winning composer, Stephen Peppos has produced more than 2000 tracks for his original music libraries, composed national TV jingles, and worked with some of the best music library companies in the world. He released his debut album, Vertigo, in 2008, and has also done extensive work as a sound designer.

And Then Came Love begins with the tender and graceful “Love You,” which seems to be speaking the title (without words) throughout the piece. This is one of several pieces where the mic is placed in such a way that it picks up the sound of the dampers on the piano strings and sounds very much like a sigh or a breath. “Meant To Be” is very free and expressive - almost dreamy. In a few places, it sounds like the piano strings are lightly muted, which softens the tone of the piano significantly and adds to the dreamy effect. “Love So True” is very ambient and atmospheric, flowing slowly and easily. “Love & Affection” is a favorite. The first part of the piece is quietly mysterious, gradually building. The second section becomes livelier and more intense before returning to the original theme. “For a Lifetime” mixes electronic effects with the beautiful piano melody and flowing arpeggios - also a favorite. I really like the slow, gentle grace and the harmonic progression of the rolling chords in “The Spark of Love.” “Since I Found You” expresses a simple, heartfelt honesty that is both poignant and touching. At almost 4 1/2 minutes, “My Sweet Love” is one of the longer tracks on the album and is also one of the most beautiful. Peppos again blends acoustic and electronic sounds to express a variety of thoughts and feelings from tenderness to a darker mysterious tone that trails off at the end. The title track is the final piece on the album and is a sweet closing to this lovely tribute to the wonders and beauty of an enduring love.

And Then Came Love is available from www.StephenPeppos.com, Amazon, iTunes, Apple Music and Google Play.
January 29, 2020
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